Earnings for Criminal Gangs from Ransomware

in Transnational Crime

Computer security company Symantec reported that criminal gangs are making up to $5 Million a year by placing ransomware on computers.

Ransomware viruses freezes an infected computer and places fake warnings from the FBI. The fake message tells the computer user to pay a fine or face arrest.

These scams were originally focused in Eastern Europe and Russia and have spread to North America.

Hackers are able to purchase software kits for $15 and typical charge the victim $200 as the extortion fee. Computer security researchers state that the rate of victims who end up paying the extortion fee is between 3 to 5 percent.

To repair the infected computer and rid it of the ransomware costs around $250.

(See more illegal jobs and activities and the amount of money made.)

Source:  Winston Ross, “Ransomware Scams Prey on Your Sense of Guilt to Open Your Wallet,” Daily Beast, August 3, 2013.

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