How insurance companies are fueling a rise in ransomware attacks by paying the ransom

ProPublica's Minhee Cho says: "Thought you might be interested in ProPublica's latest report detailing how insurance companies are actually fueling a rise in ransomware attacks by choosing to pay the ransom, even when they could recover the files on their own. Why? Plain and simple: the attacks are good for business.

"More often than not, paying the ransom is a lot cheaper for insurers than the loss of revenue they have to cover otherwise. But, by rewarding hackers, these companies have created a perverted cycle that encourages more ransomware attacks, which in turn frighten more businesses and government agencies into buying policies. In fact, it seems hackers are specifically extorting American companies that they know have cyber insurance. After one small insurer highlighted the names of some of its cyber policyholders on its website, three of them were attacked by ransomware.

"The cyber insurance industry is now estimated to be a $7-8 billion market in the U.S. alone. In the past year, dozens of public entities in the U.S. — including the cities of Baltimore and Atlanta — have been paralyzed by ransomware. Just this month, attackers seeking millions of dollars encrypted the files of 22 Texas municipalities."

You can read more in her full story here.

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