The risks of paying for ransomware

Internet & Home

All security experts agree unanimously: never pay for ransomware! But if your most important files are hijacked, and your backup is also affected or not up-to-date, you still want your dear documents, photos and other files back. Raising the ransom for the ransom sounds tempting, but what exactly are the risks that you take with that?

Of course, we do not have to explain to you that the ransom demanding ransomware to release the hostile files is quite an expensive joke. Because the ransom has to be paid through Bitcoin (or another form of cryptocurrency), the chances are small that the criminals can become obsolete.

The chance is therefore plausible that the crime pays off if you choose to pull it out of desperation. So far the financial and conscientious objections, because there are other risks that are less obvious.

Payment at ransomware happens anonymously via cryptocurrency.


That’s how it comes down to trust. When you decide to pay the administrators of ransom to recover your hijacked files, you have no guarantee that the criminals are also prepared to offer a decryption method to get your files back. Moreover, who says that the criminals are able to release hijacked files? It is malware creators to make it easy to earn money, not a ‘service’. There is a lot of ransomware in circulation where it is not possible to recover hijacked files because the malware is half-baked programmed. In short, that you get something back for your ransom, that is only the question.

Contamination remains

Ransomware is obviously a form of malware, and can only strike if it has infected your PC. Payment of ransom to get your files back does not undo the contamination. A ransomware administrator also knows that there is something to be gained from victims who pay for ransomware. Your system remains infected and the chance that the ransomware on your PC hijacks all your files again is great.


A ransomware infection is, of course, a nightmare, and the advice is invariable: prevention is better than cure. So always ensure an up-to-date backup. This can be done automatically in the Windows settings, you can use an external drive or a cloud storage. In any case, ensure that the ransomware cannot reach your backup so that both your system and your backup are not held, hostage.

Ransomware is primarily a problem for Windows PCs. You can, of course, prevent yourself from running a supported version of Windows (Windows 7 or 10) and install good security software on your PC. For example Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019 or Internet Security 2019. Ransom is thus blocked before it strikes, thanks to a recognition of the malware or by the premature blocking of suspicious behavior. As in this case the search and modification of personal documents.

To Cure

When ransomware has succeeded in your system, it is a trickier story. You can create a bootable USB stick to clean up your system. You can also take a look at the site nomoreransom.org to see if there is a remedy against the ransomware on your system. However, these methods offer no guarantee, so there is a plausible chance that your files will be lost. Even if you choose to pay the ransom.

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