Cryptojacking malware is all the rage at the moment, and it’s become so widespread that its topping malware charts. However, cryptojacking isn’t the only danger that lurks hidden in downloads – crypto ransomware is hiding in the shadows. BlackRouter is one of the most painful crypto ransomwares that you can be hit by, and after a couple of years without rearing its ugly head, it’s back with a huge new upgrade and some creative incentives to help it spread.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is very different to cryptojacking scripts, as it will hold your machine and data to ransom, rather than simply mining cryptos in the background. While it won’t add extra load to your components, your machine will be unusable until you pay the ransom or wipe your hard drive – it can be a tough choice to make. Once the ransomware has installed itself on your machine – usually hidden in a very convincing download file – it will encrypt all the files and data on your device. One it has successfully completed this, you will be greeted with a screen that outlines the demands of the hacker, and with BlackRouter the hackers want Bitcoin to give you your device back.
Launching an Affiliate Program
BlackRouter made a name for itself when hackers managed to infiltrate a number of government agencies and held them to ransom back in 2016. Since then, the BlackRouter attacks have been relatively dormant – until now that is. The developers behind the malware are offering an affiliate program with a whopping 80% of all ransom paid through the ransomware they sold to other hackers. On top of this, the ransoms are higher and can only be paid in BTC – another great promotion for Bitcoin.
Bitcoin Ransom is Always Worth Paying
For some reason, criminals seem to think that using Bitcoin as a ransom will mean they will never get caught – think again. The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has come out and said that all Bitcoin transactions can be traced, helping them to close more cases related to drug trafficking. Unfortunately, criminals don’t learn and continue to set ransom amounts in Bitcoin. All police have to do is follow the crypto to an exchange or merchant and they can catch the bad guy. That’s exactly what happened to a group of kidnappers from South Africa. After kidnapping a businessman and ransoming him for 50 BTC, the kidnappers quickly cashed out their crypto and were apprehended within days.
While BlackRouter might feel like the end of the world, simply pay the hackers and notify the police. Give them the address you sent the Bitcoin to and they will be able to follow it all the way to a cashout point and apprehend the hackers. Once again, crypto is making the world a safer place by giving criminals a hard time.