Skip to main content

An economic analysis of ransomware and its welfare consequences

Hernandez-Castro, J., Cartwright, A., Cartwright, E. (2020) An economic analysis of ransomware and its welfare consequences. Royal Society Open Science, 7 (3). p. 190023. ISSN 2054-5703. (doi:10.1098/rsos.190023) (KAR id:80658)


We present in this work an economic analysis of ransomware, a relatively new form of cyber-enabled extortion. We look at how the illegal gains of the criminals will depend on the strategies they use, examining uniform pricing and price discrimination. We also explore the welfare costs to society of such strategies. In addition, we present the results of a pilot survey which demonstrate proof of concept in evaluating the costs of ransomware attacks. We discuss at each stage whether the different strategies we analyse have been encountered already in existing malware, and the likelihood of them being implemented in the future. We hope this work will provide some useful insights for predicting how ransomware may evolve in the future.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1098/rsos.190023
Uncontrolled keywords: ransomware, price discrimination, ransom, willingness to pay, cyber-security
Subjects: Q Science
Divisions: Faculties > Sciences > School of Computing
Depositing User: Julio Hernandez Castro
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2020 14:39 UTC
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2020 13:20 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Hernandez-Castro, J.:
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year