Company helps pay ransomware ransoms with bitcoin | finance

Ransomware has become one of the fastest growing types of cybercrime in 2021. Often, victim companies find that paying the ransom demanded by hackers is the path of least loss when all other options have been exhausted. Therefore, DigitalMint offers a service that helps to make these transactions as quickly as possible, usually carried out through cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin (BTC) and Monero (XMR).

Ransomware grows in 2021 (image: Darwin Laganzon/Pixabay)

According to Cybersecurity Ventures, a digital security analysis platform, a company is the victim of a ransomware attack every 11 seconds in 2021. In this type of cyber crime, hackers “hijack” the victim’s system (usually companies) and demand payments to return your control.

One of the most recent and famous cases is that of the American pipeline company Colonial Pipeline, which had its system paralyzed by hackers and was forced to pay criminals more than $4 million to solve a fuel shortage problem that had spread throughout the country. east coast of the United States.

DigitalMint helps pay ransomware ransoms

Many companies have never traded cryptocurrencies and do not have qualified personnel to quickly carry out all legal and financial procedures to make payments to criminals. That’s where DigitalMint comes in, mediating the situation when the company no longer has any option but to comply with the hackers’ demands.

“Many of these companies are unprepared for an extortion attempt and have no idea what they need to do,” said Rick Holland, director of security at Digital Shadows, a cyber threat intelligence company, to CNBC.

“Insurers sometimes give guidance on how to pay and recommend companies to work with,” Holland said. “Extortionists will give instructions on how to set up bitcoin wallets and where to get bitcoin.”

Thus, DigitalMint arrives as a “lifesaver” when there are no more options. The American company works as a cryptocurrency exchange and has been offering consultancy and mediation services to victims of ransomware attacks. “We are at the end of the entire process,” said Marc Grens, co-founder and president of the company.

“We are the experts hired after the forensic consultants, company and stakeholders have determined that they have exhausted all their options and that paying the ransom is the best way to move forward financially. That’s when they look for companies like ours to help them acquire cryptocurrencies at any time of the day or night,” Grens told CNBC.

Within a short period of 30 to 60 minutes from initial contact, DigitalMint is able to pay the victim’s system ransom. This includes checking the hacker to make sure they are not tied to a US-sanctioned country and taking all legal and financial steps to purchase the necessary cryptocurrencies.

Most payments are made with bitcoin

While it’s very easy to acquire these digital assets through any exchange when the transaction is low in value, these redemption requests can often run into the millions of dollars. Thus, even more so with the growing regulatory pressure from the American government, buying so many cryptocurrencies at once may not be so simple, especially when the company in question has never had contact with this sector.

According to DigitalMint, between 90% and 95% of ransoms are paid in bitcoin, but Monero is becoming an increasingly popular requirement among criminals. It is a privacy-focused token, making it difficult to track the transaction and the digital wallets involved. Therefore, countries like South Korea have already banned this and other digital currencies with the same proposal.

DigitalMint claims to have facilitated over $100 million transacted in ransomware deals since January 2020. The average value of payments is $800,000. The company also estimates that this type of crime has taken in nearly $1 billion since the beginning of last year.

With information: CNBC

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