Ransoms worth over $140,000 have been moved from digital wallets used by the hackers behind the WannaCry malware.
(CCM) — The criminals behind the recent WannaCry ransomware attack have withdrawn Bitcoins worth more than $140,000 from the Bitcoin wallets that were used to receive ransom payments from victims, according to a Guardian report. The criminals started withdrawing small quantities of Bitcoins over a week ago, but in the early hours of yesterday morning they withdrew funds worth over $100,000.
Law enforcement agencies have been watching the wallets and waiting for the criminals to start moving the Bitcoins, in the hope they use them to carry out transactions which will allow them to be identified. But it is likely that the criminals will use some of the Bitcoins to buy goods or services on the dark web, which will make it almost impossible for law enforcement agencies to track them. The Bitcoins may also be converted into another cryptocurrency called Monero, according to the Guardian report.
Most law enforcement agencies recommend that victims of ransomware do not pay the ransom, but according to research carried out by Trend Micro as many as 65% of companies that are hit by ransomware decide to pay the ransom to recover their data. An alternative way to recover data encrypted by ransomware is to restore it from backups, but in many cases these backups do not exist.
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