Bitcoin is one of the most popular cryptocurrencies still existing on the market, and ransomware, the most popular type of attack to deny genuine user access until the adversary gets paid.
Ransomware is still on the raise and it is difficult to prevent and protect from the attack. Back in time, when an organization or an individual was attacked by ransomware, they may report to law enforcement agency to help them recover. Worst case scenario the victim has to pay for the adversary. Making payment by cash or wire transfer can be tracible by police or authorization organization, some attackers get away with it and some may not.
Cryptocurrency is another option for attacker to get paid, because the nature of cryptocurrency is the calculation of algorithms and does not require human evolvement. Bitcoin does not have any government, credential organizations or person stand behind the system; therefore, if ransomware victim pays the adversary by Bitcoin, it is impossible to track or reverse the transaction. A popular example of Bitcoin ransomware is WannaCry ransomware attack on May 2017.
The combination of Bitcoin and ransomware become very convenience for tech criminal. Assuming an organization is attacked by malicious software and took over control sensitive data, then the adversary demands 10 Bitcoins. It can get back all the valuable information if it fully prepares for this situation. The adversaries will receive 10 Bitcoins and it is up to them to give back the control, there is no guarantee for the organization. The payer or law enforcement cannot reverse the money, and transaction is not traceable.
Cryptocurrency, a foundation of financial system which assure human trust is not necessary; nevertheless, the adversary takes advantage of cryptocurrency flaw to gain money.