Digital payments giant PayPal has won a cybersecurity patent to protect users from cryptoransomware, according to a document from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published on April 16.
The system described in the patent, entitled “Techniques for ransomware detection and mitigation,” intends to improve the detection of ransomware and prevent it from locking up users’ access to their files.
PayPal’s patent describes ransomware as a malware that may encrypt original data and delete the non-encrypted original version, with the malicious party usually demanding users to pay them in anonymous cryptocurrency in order to decrypt the files.
As such, PayPal intends to prevent attackers from taking over users’ files by detecting a first copy of the original content of a file and preventing it from being deleted if the modified content has been encrypted. With that, the patent also seeks to detect that ransomware is operating on a computer, which is expected to mitigate or avoid negative effects of the ransomware.
Last year, PayPal filed another USPTO patent to increase the speed of crypto payments by using secondary private keys to reduce wait times for transactions between merchants and consumers.