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A Game-Theoretical Model of Ransomware

Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 782)

Abstract

Ransomware is a recent form of malware that encrypts the files on a target computer until a specific amount (ransom) is paid to the attacker. As a result, in addition to aggressively spreading and disrupting victim’s data and operation, differently from most cyberattacks, ransomware implements a revenue model. Specifically, it creates a hostage-like situation in which the victim is threatened with the risk of data loss and forced into a negotiation.

In this paper, we use game theory to approach this unique aspect of ransomware, and we present a model for analyzing the strategies behind decisions in dealing with human-controlled attacks. Although the game-theoretical model does not contribute to recovering encrypted files, it can be utilized to understand potential prevention measures, and it can be utilized to further investigate similar types of cybercrime.

Keywords

Game theory Cybersecurity Ransomware 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fort Hays State UniversityHaysUSA

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