Exploring the Deadly Rise of Extortion Hacking

Posted by Allison Boccamazzo on June 7, 2016 at 9:30 AM

It’s no surprise that the act of hacking has grown increasingly sophisticated over the years. Today, there are multiple advanced forms of hacking (i.e. jailbreaking, chip and pin hacks, IoT botnets) but perhaps one of today’s most innovative forms of hacking is extortion hacking, or cyber extortion.

Extortion hacks involve a hacker attacking an organization (or threatening to attack it) and demanding money to prevent or stop the attack. One example of cyber extortion is a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, in which a number of compromised systems attack one targeted system. As we covered in another post, online businesses have paid spammers over $100,000 over the last two months to avoid what they thought were legitimate DDoS attacks.

Exploring the Deadly Rise of Extortion HackingAnother example of an extortion hack is ransomware, a type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their system. The ransomware market has grown exponentially. TechRepublic, for example, reports that payments from ransomware in the U.S. have increased from $400,000 in 2012 to nearly $18 million in 2015; the average ransom is about $300 dollars.

Extortion hacks are unfortunately ushering enterprises into an era where they can be victimized by fraudulent strangers online for massive sums of money. These hackers essentially blackmail targeted organizations, forcing them to pay their desired ransom through a form of online payment in order to regain access to their system or stolen data.

Cyber extortion is a quickly growing threat to enterprises across virtually every industry. Every organization is susceptible to being targeted and, if so, will have no choice but to either pay or lose what has been stolen. As a result, many businesses are investing in cyber insurance in order to cover such things as settlement costs should an extortion threat be made against their network.  

It’s clear that cyber extortion represents a new age of hacking that every business leader must be wary of.


At VoIP Innovations, we know first hand the impact that cyber attacks can have on a business. To see what we're doing in our wholesale VoIP BackOffice to protect our customers even further, try out a Free Trial today.

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Tags: VoIP, Cyber Security

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