Economic Analysis of Ransomware

Julio Hernandez-Castro, Edward Cartwright, Anna Stepanova

Research output: Working paper/PreprintPreprint


We present in this work an economic analysis of ransomware, with relevant data from Cryptolocker, CryptoWall, TeslaCrypt and other major strands. We include a detailed study of the impact that different price discrimination strategies can have on the success of a ransomware family, examining uniform pricing, optimal price discrimination and bargaining strategies and analysing their advantages and limitations. In addition, we present results of a preliminary survey that can helps in estimating an optimal ransom value. We discuss at each stage whether the different schemes we analyse have been encountered already in existing malware, and the likelihood of them being implemented and becoming successful. We hope this work will help to gain some useful insights for predicting how ransomware may evolve in the future and be better prepared to counter its current and future threat.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2017


  • cs.CR
  • cs.CY


Dive into the research topics of 'Economic Analysis of Ransomware'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this