HACKING 17 Most Dangerous Hacking Attacks (2017)
Chapter 16 - Ransomware
Ransomware also is known as Locky, or Cryptolocker is a malicious software that blocks access to your computer while asking for a ransom to be paid to unlock your screen. There are different types out there, some might be threatening you that all your files are now encrypted and will be lost if you would not pay, yet another would threaten you to pay, or all your files will be uploaded publicly.
It has begun to grow internationally in 2012, however by 2013 the number of victims has doubled, making Ransomware a real nightmare. The attackers are asking to pay between $200 to 500 dollars on an average, in exchange for a system decryption. The problem is that when you would receive a lockdown screen, additionally you would have a clock that would count backward. The timer is another technique for the purpose of creating an urgency for the victims. When you think about that you might need a file on your system that you want to access within a week, even if it weren't urgent, now it would suddenly become a major one. One of my best friends had it first in 2014, and the attackers have asked him to pay 400 dollars within 48 hours, or the files will be destroyed within his computer. He is a Graphic Designer, and working from home. What he does is taking on certain jobs, such as drawing comic books, or even designing logos and delivering those projects on the internet. He has been working on a project to complete a short comic book that was required to have 20+ pages, and he was very close to finish when he got a ransomware that has blocked his computer. Unfortunately, he had no backups, and the delivery date was about to do. Even he would have been able to re-deliver it again; it would have been taken him weeks, not to mention that he must have had another computer as the ransomware infected machine was useless. He paid of course, not like any option he could have chosen from, however after the payment he has been told that they will only decrypt half of the files on his machine unless he pays another $200. Being in a desperate situation, the hackers have made him pay again. However, after his files have been decrypted the outcome still wasn’t what he expected. The way he explained to me, is that some of his files have not been decoded correctly and they were corrupted, and some of them were useless anymore. Fortunately, the actual project he was working on had no infection, and he was able to deliver it just before the deadline. When he called me and explained what happened, I was speechless. Well not actually, instead I kept on asking him, why didn’t he call me, but the way he has described the situation to me, I knew right then that I had not much that I could have helped really.
You might think it’s not a big deal, however, when you consider that these black hat hackers are ruthless and only interested in financial gains, you know that it’s not right. Many people working from home, and they make a living by doing so. Therefore taken advantages on these, and steal their wages are just not fair. Not enough that cyber criminals are damaging intellectual property and threatening innocent hard working people by asking for ransom, they even take this further.