#CyberFLASH: Study finds dozens of Canadian firms have paid ransoms to regain control of data

imageTORONTO — A new report has revealed dozens of Canadian organizations were forced to pay attackers over the past year to regain access to computer files and IT systems infected with ransomware.

The finding is part of an international study conducted on behalf of a Silicon Valley company that fights ransomware, which typically locks legitimate users out of a system and sends a message requiring a payment to get a software code or key.

The Osterman Research study published by Malwarebytes found 44 of the 125 Canadian respondents, all of whom were anonymous, reported having a ransomware attack on their organization in the previous 12 months.

A majority of the victims, 33 of the respondents, said they’d paid ransoms with costs ranging from $1,000 to $50,000.

They study also found 11 of the 44 organizations targeted by ransomware had to shut down their business for a time to deal with the attack and devote an average of nine person-hours to recover.

Five of the victim respondents, all identified as working in the health-care industry, said they believed lives were at risk.

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