WANNACRY ransomware has spread across 150 countries and sent many NHS hospitals into meltdown.. catchy headlines from the Express newspaper but what caught my eye was that despite the prevalence of the attack the amount paid so far has been very low.
Security experts have been urging people not to pay the ransom, and while I don't advocate giving into terrorist or hackers demands, I would seriously consider paying a relatively small amount of money to retrieve personal files, such as family photos. Some things hold more sentimental value than material value.
But why has an attack on this scale resulted in such a small amount being paid so far ~ £30,000?
Well, I suspect the fact that the ransom demanded that you paid via Bitcoin has been the biggest issue. Great to see new-age terrorist embracing emerging technologies that allow them to cover their tracks but have they fundamentally missed the point that most people, and organisations, have not heard of bitcoin let alone tried to obtain or purchase anything with Bitcoin. It's just not that easy today, but as Bitcoin becomes more mainstream, hackers are more likely to benefit from its anonymous footprint.
In the fallout surrounding the WannaCry ransom attacks, a number of formal studies have been revealed. Just this week, an effort by the US Congress to better understand potential links between cryptocurrencies and terrorism, and a new partnership between the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis, have both been announced.