A Bag Of Cheetos And The Yakuza
With all of that other stuff we now have to deal with something called “Ransomware.”
Ransomware is described in the Media as a virus that can infect your computer, locking up access to your files. The solution is to pay a “Ransom” to the perpetrators who will then unlock your computer. Nice, huh?
I have noticed several things about this whole business. The Baddies in this are often demanding their payment in “Bitcoins,” a virtual currency that has value only if some other dunce is willing to accept it as payment. It would be like you owing a contractor for a new roof and asking him to accept payment in used paper napkins. The napkins have a value only if the contractor is dumb enough to say, “OK by me.” Otherwise, you have a problem.
I saw a news story claiming that someone has hacked into the Disney Company, downloaded a movie they are creating, and is threatening to post it on the Internet unless they are given X-number of Bitcoins as ransom. The folks at Disney are not stupid. This whole thing is giving them a billion dollars worth of free publicity.
If the idiots who want the Bitcoins do post the movie on the web the only people who will bother to download it will be other dummies who live in their parent’s basement surviving on Cheetos and Diet Coke. The General Public will want to see this film on a screen larger than 12” and take their kids along to a real theater. Disney will make a fortune and the Bitcoin Boys will sit in the dark and get orange fingers.
“I want my Bitcoins!”
There is no point in attacking private individual’s computers.
1) Most people don’t have that much money to pony up any significant amount.
2) They wouldn’t know how to get Bitcoins anyway.
3) How many people are willing to pay a ransom to get back the pictures of their vacation to Myrtle Beach?
By going after big companies with lots of money the Basement Mobs are having to deal with issues outside of their experience. Every business bigger than a lemonade stand has all of their important files backed-up offsite and off-system. So, no big whoop.
“You lock up my system? OK. Now we are going to swim back up your data stream and find you.”
Most companies would put their IT people to work and, it may take a while, but the fool with the orange fingers will eventually hear his mother yell down the basement stairs, “Rodney, there are some men here to see you!”
That is if “Rodney” is lucky.
If Rodney has tried to shake down some government agency or a really big company he won’t hear his Mom calling his name. Once he is located, Rodney will find himself and his family in the middle of an unexplained house fire or gas explosion. Web scuttlebutt has it that this has already started to happen in Japan and Eastern Europe.
Mess around with a Yakuza cash cow or a Russian entrepreneur and your life is going to become nasty, brutish, and short.
Some people are just too stupid to live.