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The organised crime groups behind the rise in Ransomware aren't going away any time soon, according to Google researchers
Cyber-thieves have made at least $25m (£19m) from ransomware in the last two years, suggests research by Google.
The search giant created thousands of virtual victims of ransomware to expose the payment ecosystem surrounding the malware type.
Most of the money was made in 2016 as gangs realised how lucrative it was, revealed a talk at Black Hat.
Two types of ransomware made most of the money, it said, but other variants are starting to emerge.
Ransomware is malicious software that infects a machine and then encrypts or scrambles files so they can no longer be used or read. The files are only decrypted when a victim pays a ransom. Payments typically have to be made using the Bitcoin virtual currency.
According to Elie Bursztein from Google who, along with colleagues Kylie McRoberts and Luca Invernizzi, carried out the research, the gangs behind the ransomware explosion were not likely to stop soon although established strains are facing competition from newer ones.
More information about Ransomware, how to protect yourself from this and advice on what to do if you fall victim to this can be found here.