The dark blue line in the survival analysis in Figure 8 shows the date range when victims paid the ransom amount. In this analysis, the victims that do not pay the ransom amount are referred to as survivors, while those who do are referred to as terminal. This analysis allows us to better understand the science of ransomware and ransom payout prevention.
We can go further and say that for about 5 to 7.5 bitcoins (roughly US$200,000 to US$300,000 as of this publishing), they would be willing to give away their methods — we are, however, only taking them for their word, which admittedly is on the charitable side. On the other hand, the charitable assumption on our end allows for this analysis. It’s also possible that DeadBolt actors think that a conversion ratio of 6% (300,000 divided by 4,400,000) is substantial enough to cash out. They obviously know a lot more about payment ratios than we do, because they eventually topped out at 8%.
It’s also clear that they knew in advance that US$300,000 would have been a good, low-risk deal. That in turn suggests that the entire operation cost them less than US$150,000, otherwise their profit margins would be undesirable. However, it’s worth noting that the fact that 92% of victims have chosen not to pay ransom is an enormous success in cybersecurity — one that we often choose to ignore; instead, we tend to focus on how much ransomware actors have earned in