Let’s be honest: There would not be so many ransomware attacks if cryptocurrency weren’t a thing. Just ask the U.S. Secret Service.
The Senate Judiciary Committee recently held a hearing on the epidemic of ransomware: hackers locking up data and making computer systems useless until they get paid a hefty fee. In his testimony, Secret Service Assistant Director Jeremy Sheridan listed three reasons why ransomware has gotten so bad. His first reason: “The swelling profitability of these attacks, in part as a result of the growth of cryptocurrencies as a form of extortion payment.”
Cryptocurrency is tough (definitely not impossible) to trace and it crosses borders with alacrity, and because of that, it gives cybercriminals a safer way to do bad things and get paid to stop. But what if cryptocurrencies’ handmaidens, blockchains, were also able to provide a new level of protection against this criminal industry?
We spoke to several leaders in decentralized data storage as well as a security expert to unpack ways in which distributed storage from projects like Arweave, Filecoin, Skynet and Storj might stymie ransomware attacks.