In December 2013 it was Dell SecureWorks that provided some of the most widely-quoted figures on the success of CryptoWall's infamous CryptoLocker, which had gone on a bit of a shock and awe rampage after first appearing in September of that year.
By then it had infected at least 250,000 systems in its first 100 days out of an eventual total somewhere north of half a million at the point its distribution network was finally blitzed by Operation Tovar in May. Exactly how many victims eventually paid up is unknown but DellDell's original estimate was around 0.4 percent, which probably waned a little as defenders adjusted to the threat. Alles zu Dell auf CIO.de
The firm now believes that CryptoLocker probably made around $3 million in ransoms, roughly three times the sums made by CryptoWall, which is estimates at $1.1 million - that is despite CryptoWall infecting at least 625,000 systems since its debut in March 2014 and 24 August.
"CryptoWall's higher average ransom amounts and the technical barriers typical consumers encounter when attempting to obtain bitcoins has likely contributed to this malware family's more modest success," said Dell SecureWorks' researcher Keith Jarvis, reaching for an explanation.
"Additionally, it is likely the CryptoWall operators do not have a sophisticated 'cash out' and laundering operation like the Gameover Zeus crew [which distributed CryptoLocker] and cannot process pre-paid cards in such high volumes."