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Ransomeware: Almost Half Of Oz Infected SMBs Agree To Pay

Almost half of Australian small-medium companies that have been hit by ransomeware attacks have elected to pay up – a surprisingly high figure by international standards, a survey by malware prevention company Malwarebytes suggests.

Results of Malwarebytes’ survey of more than 1000 companies across North America, France, the UK, Germany, Singapore and Australia found that, across the board, more than one-third of businesses have experienced a ransomware attack in the last year.

Among Australian respondents who had been attacked, 55 percent said they did not make any payment – suggesting 45 percent, or almost half, probably did pay, though whether they got their full service back was not always revealed.

That compares with just 16pc of French and 17pc of German companies, along with 21pc of American outfits, choosing to pay. However the Aussie pay-up rate was echoed in Britain, where some 43 percent of SMBs paid up.

Jim Cook, Malwarebytes’ A/NZ regional director, yesterday told a media lunch in Sydney that, though Australia had more companies willing to pay, the financial demands were usually comparatively low: of 175 Aussie SMBs surveyed, 81 percent of those that had experienced a ransomware attack faced demands of US$1000 or less. Just four percent faced demands for more than $10,000.

Most faced more financial pain from disruption to operations than from the actual ransom: some 22 percent had to cease operations immediately and 18 percent reported losing revenue as a result.

“These results confirm the key problem with ransomware is not the ransom demand itself but the wider impact that an attack has on a targeted business,” said Cook.

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