Despite firm advice to the contrary from security professionals and law enforcement, plenty of Australian ransomware victims say they have paid digital extortionists and after doing so, many report they were able to restore access to their data.
Telstra's 2019 security survey claims 51 per cent of Australian respondents that were attacked by ransomware paid up, and 79 per cent would do it again if they did not have backups available.
More than three-quarters of Australian businesses that paid ransoms reported that they were able to get their data back.
Ransomware victims are usually told not to pay extortionists. This is to avoid encouraging further attacks, and since there's no guarantee that victims will be able to restore access to their files depite paying the ransom.
A third of Australian respondents said they had had their businesses being interrupted on a weekly or monthly basis by ransomware attacks, a higher proportion than in European countries.
More than nine out of then Kiwi businesses surveyed by Telstra say they were struck by ransomware attacks, compared to four-fifths of Australian organisations.
The hard-hit Kiwis are keener to pay ransomware raiders than Australians, with 61 per cent stumping up money for the extortionists to get their files back.
Telstra hired analyst firm GlobalData to interview 1,298 security professionals in 13 countries between November and December 2018, with 61 per cent of the surveys conducted in Asia-Pacific and 39 per cent in Europe.