BigStory.ap.org will soon be gone, but don’t worry! APNews.com is your new destination for news from The Associated Press.

Personalize your news feed and get curated local content in a fresh new design at APNews.com.

Continue to BigStory.ap.org

Europol: Ransomware now top cybercrime threat

Share article

 

PARIS (AP) — European police agency Europol says the threat from ransomware has now eclipsed other forms of online theft, a sign of how quickly the computer-scrambling software has found favor in the electronic underworld.

Ransomware typically works by taking computers hostage, encrypting the files on victims' hard drives until they cough up the money demanded to unscramble the data. Criminals often demand payment in the electronic currency Bitcoin.

Hospitals, government agencies and even police forces the world over have fallen victim to the scam, which is usually spread through booby trapped links or attachments. More recently, researchers are warning of a new, self-propagating strain of ransomware that can spread without human interaction.

In a report released Wednesday, Europol said ransomware was "overshadowing traditional malware threats."

___

Online:

Europol's report: https://www.europol.europa.eu/content/internet-organised-crime-threat-assessment-iocta-2016

 

 
 

 

Advertisement

Comments

Discuss this story on Twitter or Facebook

@AP on TwitterAP on Facebook

AP Radio News: