Rise in bitcoin linked to rise in ransomware

When hackers encrypted files at Hollywood (Calif.) Presbyterian Medical Center in February, they demanded payment in bitcoins, a digital currency the offers users anonymity. Bitcoin is being used with more frequency now, and it may be contributing to the rise in ransomware attacks on hospitals, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The report indicates that while ransomware attacks have been around since the 1980s, they started occurring with more frequency now during the time of bitcoin use and improved encryption software.

According to the report, bitcoin is the preferred payment method for ransowmare cases because users can send and receive bitcoin anonymously from anywhere in the world.

However, bitcoin itself is subject to hackers. Bitfinex, the online digital currency exchange platform, was hacked in August, and attackers stole $65 million worth of bitcoin currency.

More articles on ransomware:

Dermatology office ransomware attack affects 13k patient records 
How to protect your healthcare organization from IT security breaches 
Hospitals are hit with 88% of all ransomware attacks 

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