A single ransomware author and distributor was able to collect $121 million in ransomware payments during the first half of this year, netting $94 million after expenses, according to a report released today.
“Ransomware has grown over the years, and in 2015 and 2016 we really saw a serious spike,” said Vincent Weafer, vice president of Intel Security’s McAfee Labs.
Weafer estimated that total ransomware revenues could be in the hundreds of millions.
“And that’s on the conservative side,” he said.
Total ransomware increased by 128 percent during the first half of 2016 compared to the same period last year. There were 1.3 million new ransomware samples recorded, the highest number since McAfee began tracking it.