Digital shift opens door to ransomware attacks

"When a victim pays the ransom — typically in digital bitcoins — the thieves provide a digital key to unlock the system. Yet hackers who aren't motivated by money could refuse to offer a key, said Brian Nussbaum, a former security intelligence analyst who teaches computer security at State University of New York at Albany.

“There is certainly the potential for you to have organizations where the data is simply gone,” Nussbaum said. “If they're not willing to sell you the key, then that Hollywood Presbyterian thing looks really different if people's medical records are just gone.”"