UK Companies Stockpiling Bitcoin As Ransomware ‘Hush Money’

/ 3 years ago


UK Companies Stockpiling Bitcoin

With the recent boom in Bitcoin, many of us have turned an eye to investing a little in it. Companies in the UK are also apparently doing this, but for very different reasons.

Ransomware, the new brand of malicious computer virus is big business. Attacks in the last year alone have shown just how vulnerable we all were, but particularly big business. In brief, the virus locks out all of your computer’s files and will only release them upon payment of a ransom. This is usually done via a crypto-currency which in its nature, is completely untraceable.

For business, these attacks can represent a major security problem because ultimately, it’s often the user’s fault and for the less technologically savvy, very easy to fall victim to.

In a report via the Telegraph, in a preemptive measure, companies in the UK have begun stockpiling Bitcoin, but not for investment reasons. It’s there simply to pay the ransoms in a means of attempting to ‘hush-up’ attacks.


Hushing-up ransomware attacks

Sounds unlikely? Not really. Taxi firm Uber was recently found to have paid hackers ‘hush-money’ to avoid a PR disaster. Put simply, ‘hush-money’ only really works for the company if it stays ‘hushed’. Once revealed, the payment often gives the company an even bigger PR problem to deal with. A recent attack even saw major manufacturer Toshiba lose 400,000TB of data.

Paul Taylor, the former MoD cybersecurity chief has said: “Companies are definitely stockpiling Bitcoin in order to be prepared to pay ransoms, ransomware is so prevalent that employees are being ordered to prepare digital wallets and monitor cryptocurrency prices – which have been soaring in recent weeks – to hedge against inflation should they need to buy, to keep a hack under wraps.”

Personally, I don’t know which is worse. The fact that companies plan to hush any attacks up or the fact that they consider ransomware attacks so likely.

What do you think? A good pre-emptive measure or an admission of poor security? – Let us know in the comments!

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