Digital thieves’ most crucial adaptation in recent years has little to do with their technical tools and everything to do with their business model.
“In the physical world, you have law enforcement coming out against paying ransom for hostages, but in this case we’ve seen law-enforcement agencies not only recommend it but actually paying it themselves,” Alperovitch says, referring to incidents in which police departments have paid bitcoin ransoms to recover control of their systems. “The problem you have here is that literally everyone is experiencing this problem. No one is immune. Luckily, hostage-taking is a pretty rare activity in our society, so it’s easy to recommend not paying a ransom when they know they’re not likely to experience that issue themselves.”