Bad Guys Make Out: Hacking Victims Will Pay Big Bucks To Ransom Data

Consumers may be willing sell their data for mere pennies. But they will pay thousands to get it back, judging by a new study by LastPass and OnePoll. 

They will cough up $3,968 to ransom a hacked debit card number, $3,808 for an email password, and $3,213 for a banking password.

And people who have already been victimized are more willing to pay those types of sums: a fourth are willing to buy back data from the black market, as Study Finds puts it.

It’s no big news that governments and companies have paid large sums to unlock their systems or access their information 

But consumers are also being hit with ransomware attacks, and they are being similarly squeezed.

Of those polled worldwide, 28% have had data stolen, versus 35% of Americans.

What’s not clear is whether they paid up and whether paying it liberated them from further extortion. Also not clear is how much their own negligence is to blame for the attacks. 



LastPass and OnePoll surveyed 2,000 consumers the in U.S., UK, Germany, Australia, and France. Almost half say they are worried about their overall password security.

While 70% have strong passwords in place for their banking and other financial accounts, 28% acknowledge that some passwords they use are not very strong. Worse, 40% have not changed a password in the 12 months following reports of a major breach.

“Passwords play a huge part in one’s overall security, but people continue to neglect basic best practices,” a spokesperson states. “Some of the most common ways people are leaving themselves vulnerable online is by using weak, easy-to-crack passwords, and then using those same passwords on many of their other online accounts.”

Meanwhile, a third of consumers will give their data away to marketing companies, while almost half will let it go for $10, MediaPost’s Search Marketing Daily reports, based on the research released this week by the Advertising Research Foundation. There’s a slight imbalance between what they will accept for data and what they are willing to pay to ransom it.

Here’s the clincher. Of those surveyed by LastPass, 41% would rather sit in traffic than have to deal with a data hack. And 28% would give up alcohol to prevent one — the ultimate price.



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