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Hungarian firms take up fight against ransomware

Analysis

Companies operating in Hungary have spent almost HUF 500 million on measures to protect against malicious ransomware in the past two years, with half of the investigated companies claiming to have been affected, according to the latest study by computer security specialist G Data, a press statement sent to the Budapest Business Journal shows.

Ransomware is one of the latest types of malware virus, which installs covertly on the victimʼs computer and encrypts files of the user, demanding a ransom to be paid for decryption, generally using the barely traceable bitcoin cryptocurrency.

According to the findings of G Data, ransomware viruses demand HUF 180,000 per attack on average from Hungarian users for the decryption of hijacked files. G Data has found that firms are more likely to pay the ransom for files than individuals.

Some 70% of users were reported to have received the key necessary for decryption once the ransom has been paid, while the rest were unable to restore their files. However, even if the key for decryption is sent to users, on average only 60-70% of the hijacked documents and files can be restored, G Data adds.

Ransomware viruses are thought to be among the most dangerous as the coding used for the encryption of files in the majority of cases cannot be hacked, and only the relevant key can be used to unlock the files, if received in exchange for the ransom.

A widely advised technique to be applied in order to defend against a possible ransomware attack is to use paid antivirus software that includes the latest updates regularly, as well as to refrain from opening attachments in e-mails from unknown senders. Another useful step is to create regular backups that can be restored should a ransomware encrypt all the userʼs files.

The study G Data conducted involved 600 business leaders and 1,000 individuals. Some 50% of respondents said they have received such viruses.

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