A new project, Ransomwhere, aims to put a dollar figure on the profit-driven attacks that have become a headache for businesses, governments and non-profits around the globe.
Why it matters: While ransomware is clearly a growing problem, there hasn't been a good way to keep tabs on how much is being paid, and to whom.
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How it works: Ransomwhere is an "open, crowdsourced ransomware payment tracker" launched by Jack Cable, a former government cybersecurity expert who now works as a security architect for Krebs Stamos Group.
Anyone can enter a payment demand they have received, though people are required to submit a screenshot of the ransom note as one means of verifying the legitimacy of claims posted to Ransomwhere.
The site also keeps a running tally of bitcoin payments by taking advantage of the public nature of blockchain ledgers.
As of Sunday night, Ransomwhere had tracked just over $60 million in ransomware payments.
What they're saying: Cable told Axios that he launched Ransomwhere because no one was really tracking the total impact and it's hard to address what you can't measure.
"Without knowing the full details of ransomware economics, it's hard to tell if actions have an effect on criminal behavior," Cable said. "Knowing that bitcoin is entirely public, I started building Ransomwhere as a method to crowdsource information on ransomware payments."
Go deeper: Ransomware epidemic intensifies
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