Ten years since the first corp ransomware, Mikko Hyppönen sees no end in sight

On the plus side, infosec's a good bet for a long, stable career

Interview This year is an unfortunate anniversary for information security: We're told it's a decade since ransomware started infecting corporations.

Extortionists had been hitting normal folk in the early 2010s with file-scrambling malware. Eventually criminals figured out that there was much more money to be made hitting business networks and demanding big bucks. Since then, attacks have soared, show no sign of letting up, and the computer security industry still hasn't found a full and final fix.

Mikko Hyppönen, chief research officer at WithSecure and all-round infosec industry veteran, will give a keynote talk at the RSA Conference in San Francisco today on just this topic – and he's not optimistic. Growth in both the number of attacks and the value of Bitcoin has created criminal unicorns with net worth in the billions, as he explains in the video below.

Youtube Video

He argued that while certain sectors such as government and healthcare are certainly attractive to extortionists, these criminals will go for the lowest-hanging fruit, meaning poorly secured IT environments are just as tempting. And it's increasingly hard for victims not to pay up when they see their stolen corporate data leaking online.

There is one bright light on the horizon, for security folks at least: If you work in the industry, and you're good at it, then it looks like you've got a job for life. ®

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