Ransomware is making a pretty penny worldwide

We’ve all heard about ransomware, and how it holds devices hostage until the owner pays up. But have you ever wondered just how much money ransomware has managed to steal across the globe? According to a joint study from Google, bitcoin security firm Chainalysis, the University of California at San Diego, and New York University, the most prevalent ransomware strains have roped in a total of $25 million.

According to an article by PC Mag, the ransomware ecosystem is “dominated by a few kingpins.” For example, Locky and Cerber. Locky was the first ransomware to steal more than a million dollars per month, and has made around $7.8 million in total. Cerber makes around $200,000 a month and has made $6.9 million in total. Other big earners include CryptoLocker, CryptXXX, SamSam, CryptoWall, AlNamrood, TorrentLocker, Spora, CoinVault, and WannaCry.

The study says that the problem is made worse because “just 37 percent of users back up their data.” If more users had backups, holding data hostage would not be so threatening to victims of ransomware scams.