A recent survey of 1,502 U.K. residents conducted by researchers at the University of Kent has found that approximately 40 percent of those whose computers were infected by the CryptoLocker ransomware have paid the ransom required to recover their data.

Approximately one in 30 respondents said they had been a victim of the ransomware.

"If the results reported on the rate of CryptoLocker victims who pay a ransom are to be strengthened by further research, these figures would be extremely troubling, netting criminals behind the ransomware hundreds of millions," University of Kent lecturer Dr. Julio Cesar Hernandez-Castro said in a statement.


"This would encourage them to continue with this form of cybercrime, potentially prompting other criminal gangs to jump into an extremely profitable cybercrime market," Hernandez-Castro added.

The survey also found that while more than two thirds of respondents said they feel at risk of cybercrime when online, and more than a quarter said they'd been a victim of a cyber attack over the past year, fully 28.2 percent claimed not to engage in any security practices online at all, such as using anti-virus software, firewalls or password management tools.

An executive summary of the survey's findings can be viewed here [PDF].

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