Ransomware has been an emerging threat that has perpetuated to be among the most prevalent type of malware threat that has garnered cybercrooks an outlandish payday. Among the most popular ransomware threat types, crypto-ransomware threats have been the most successful at extorting money from computer users around the globe. In particular, the CryptoWall ransomware threat has raked in upwards of $325 million from its aggressive malware campaigns since its conception in May of 2014.
While CryptoWall is just one of many new and emerging crypto-ransomware threats, it has evolved over the past year to be launched in 49 different campaigns attempting to infect over 406,000 users. Most of the targets for CryptoWall have been located in North America where over 4,000 different variations of the malware included an infrastructure of 839 Command and Control servers over 5 second-tier IP addresses.
There is no doubt that the voracity of CryptoWall's creators and perpetrators is at an unprecedented level considering that in a report by cyber-security vendor, The Cyber Threat Alliance, revealed in a report that CryptoWall made away with $325 million.
Many of the CryptoWall ransomware campaigns were initiated from phishing emails and exploit kits. Most of CryptoWall's effective spreading came from phishing emails, which accounted for about 63% while exploit kits where the second method with an effective rate of about 30%.
The effectiveness of CryptoWall, and other crypt-ransomware threats, was not always as effective as it is today. During the infancy of ransomware threats like CryptoWall, most computer users would discover methods and specialized tools to remove the threat. However, today CryptoWall and many other similar ransomware threats have evolved making it difficult to remove and end up forcing computer users to pay up the fee that the threat asks to be paid for decryption of the files it has encrypted. As you may assume, CryptoWall is highly effective at employing advanced measures to extort money from computer users, especially in knowing that the group behind the threat has made around $325 million / € 295 million.
As the pages turn for crypto-ransomware threats, such as CryptoWall, CryptoLocker, CoinVault, and Bitcryptor ransomware threats, more and more computer users and affected businesses are paying up the fee to decrypt their files. Additionally, some security firms are providing the decryption keys for various crypto-ransomware threat types to avoid the hassle that it is in attempting to remove the threat.
When it comes to finding out how much money CryptoWall and its creators have raked in, the ransomware market as a whole may look to be a multi-billion dollar business in itself. How in its 3.0 version, CryptoWall doesn't look to slow down its efforts to collect money and we could see many other similar and emerging threats follow suit.