41% of British CryptoLocker Victims Sent Money to Cybercriminals

University of Kent conducts second cyber security study

The University of Kent has conducted a second cyber security study. The results show that many people in Britain agree to pay up after their computers are infected with ransomware.

9.7% of the 1,502 respondents admitted falling victim to ransomware – some to the notorious CryptoLocker, while others to “police ransomware.”

Around 41% of those who have fallen victim to CryptoLocker have admitted paying the ransom to recover their files. As far as other types of ransomware are concerned, 30% admitted paying up.

Interestingly, these findings are in contrast with the ones of Symantec and Dell SecureWorks, which have reported that only 3%, respectively 0.4%, of victims have agreed to pay the ransom.

While University of Kent researchers highlight that the results might not be very accurate because of the size and bias of the sampled population, the difference is remarkably high.

“If this were true and other researchers’ findings corroborate this figure in the future, it shows a lack of success of the multiple public calls discouraging victims to pay the ransom, and would explain the enormous success of this particular ransomware (from the criminals’ point of view, of course) and why copycats are rapidly emerging,” the study reads.

In addition to ransomware, the report also analyzes other aspects of cyber security. For instance, researchers have found that only 6.6% of respondents don’t feel they’re at risk of becoming victims of cybercrime.

Over one quarter of those who took part in the study admitted falling victim to cyber-dependent crime over the last year. When it comes to cyber-enabled crimes, such as cyberbullying, 11% confirmed being victims over the last 12 months.

When asked about whom they reported cybercrimes to, 5% said they alerted a financial institution. 3.8% reported the crime to their Internet service provider. Unfortunately, very few have filed reports with Action Fraud, which is the UK’s national fraud reporting center, or law enforcement.

“These troubling findings indicate a low level of awareness on how and whom to report experiences of cybercrime to, highlighting the sore need for increased awareness among the general population covering the different options for properly reporting a cybercrime,” the university’s report reveals.

13% of respondents said they didn’t report the crimes to anyone because they either didn’t know who to turn to, or they simply thought it would be a waste of time.

The complete cybersecurity study is available on the University of Kent’s website.


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