New ransomware lets you spread the pain

The criminals keep coming up with new twists.

This variety of ransomware costs 1 Bitcoin to restore your files. Or–

Ummm, yup, sure, like I’m really gonna click on your link with an intro like that.

I feel my immediate reaction would be to call one of my more techy friends and ask them to create a dummy system or two, I send the referral link to get the free decryption and we blow away the decoys once I have my files back.

The victims have to pay.

That’s flippin evil.

Oh, I see. Well, then, never mind. Guess I’ll stick with the regular backups strategy.

These days, 1 bitcoin is about $780.

“Each man has his price, Bob - and yours was pretty low.”

Do you have any criminal culpability if you participate, knowing that others are effectively being blackmailed? The police might not be able to [del]find[/del] reach the hackers, but I bet they can find you.

The spreaders of the malware then blackmail you (2 bitcoins) not to turn you over to the police!

If you pay the ransom, in any way, do they actually send you the decryption key? I doubt that customer good will or word-of-mouth is central to their business plan, and keeping track of who they attacked and what key needs to be sent seems like a lot of trouble.


I used to half-jest about the death penalty for spammers.

I am only micro-jesting that this sort of system kidnapping should involve a Tesla electric chair.

These people are the scum of the earth. More work needs to be done on de-encryption software and I don’t care how hard it is.

Everyone I am personally aware of who got hit with it if they paid they were able to decrypt their files. These folks apparently have some business sense that if they stopped decrypting word would get out and people would stop paying.


I link to a well-known technology site, and THAT’S what you come up with??
:smack: :smack: :frowning: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:


This is one of the most fascinating, not to mention bizarre, not to mention frustrating, phenomena that I have ever seen.

We’ve had several threads in the last couple years that mentioned ransomware. Every single time, somebody pops up and says “But will paying really work?”

Um, yes, it usually does work. There have been articles in major newspapers and magazines about it, for crying out loud! Some police officers have explicitly recommended paying. Commentator after commentator has noted that these particular criminals have a reasonably well-run customer service operation. In fact, they probably pay more attention to customer service than some legitimate companies do.

And yet – and yet – every single time, some Doper gets all het up about people paying the ransom and not getting anything out of it. GAAAAH!!! Do you people not pay attention to what’s going on around you???

Of course!

Hey, who won the election last month?
I note that even entities as large a hospitals and city governments have (successfully) paid up, sometimes to the tune of hundreds of thousands or even low millions.

Evil fuckers.

People who don’t know things ask questions. That’s a good thing. You really think everyone keeps up with tech news?

The whole thing is ridiculous. If you can give them money, then it should be trivial to track them. It’s also fucking stupid that all these big companies don’t have their shit backed up, or that places like hospitals aren’t locked down like Fort Knox.

And a cop telling you to aid a criminal enterprise? Not even working with you to set up a sting to catch them with fake money?

The whole thing is ridiculous. It’s not at all unusual that some people have questions about it.

You’d be surprised. Many of the hackers who do this actually have business plans, revenue streams, all the trappings of a real business. They actually are concerned about customer satisfaction. They actually really do provide the decryption key.

If I’m bad guy code name XDR-678 and I want to run some ransomeware attacks on, let’s say, the healthcare industry. I use a spearphishing e-mail to get my ransomeware on XYZ Hospital’s network. I tell them 50 bitcoins will get them unlocked. If they pay, and I don’t unlock them, aren’t they going to tell all their buddies not to pay me?

But let’s say they pay, and I not only unlock them, but I tell them how I got in to begin with, and how to keep guys like me from doing this again. Any other hospital is far more likely to pay me if that kind of word gets around.

I work on the white hat side of the business. The stories I have heard would make your head spin.

So, a thought: if someone managed to send out a bunch of ransomware, extort a bunch of money from people, and then fail to send the decryption keys, would that destroy the industry forever?

Ransomware depends on thinking that the criminals will give you the goods once you pay. Destroying that trust might remove the incentive to pay up, and therefore remove the incentive to use ransomware in the first place.

Not to worry, the NSA is working hard on this 24/7… To use against these guys exclusively, of course, I swear!

That’s what I was just thinking. Screw a bunch of people/orgs over, word gets out and the ransomware business dries up.