The ransomware uses bitcoin as the means of payment, which like in previous versions is handled by a centralized Tor-based command-and-control server to store decryption keys, making the attackers almost impossible to trace.
Ransomware hits thousands every week, and costs users $18 million in losses, according to estimates from the FBI. Other figures suggest the Cryptowall family alone has generated about $325 million in bitcoin ransoms.
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