Help-seeking among Australian ransomware victims

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This study examines the help-seeking behaviour of 321 Australian ransomware victims who participated in a national survey of computer users in June 2021.

Nearly three-quarters of ransomware victims sought help, advice or support from at least one person or organisation, and nearly 60 percent sought help from at least one formal source (ie they told someone other than a family or friend).

Nineteen percent of victims sought help, advice or support from the police or the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC). The main reasons for not seeking help were that victims felt they could deal with the ransomware attack themselves, they did not think there was anything the police or ACSC could do, they did not regard the incident as a serious offence or they did not know that reporting to the police or ACSC was an option.

The results confirm that official reports of ransomware significantly underestimate the levels experienced in the community. They also highlight the importance of consistent and accurate messaging about sources of advice and support.