So… I’m sitting watching ye olde TV the other day – I work from a home office, so I almost ALWAYS have a TV going…. Ain’t the net grand?? Anyway, occurred to catch something about the bothersome encrypting ransomware virus which has been mentioned on this particular site before. As was suggested, the thing that is fascinating is the fact that it is apparently making money due to the business model.
Viruses that are normal have a number of ways of breaching your security/operating system and have varied goals. Some people write this stuff just for the heck of it. Some are after financial information. Some are after control of your computer to launch other attacks. Many different reasons and methods. Regardless, it’s never good. It might redirect one to specific pages that make the virus authors money – I believe this was the genuine first virus model that had monetary benefits FOR the malware authors. A few pennies or PENNY per click to get someone to go to a website – usually adult oriented in those days.
Prior to this, the viruses that come to mind were more about ruining something – like all of your files. This really did NOBODY anything useful other than giving the virus writer a jolly understanding that someone was going to lose each of their data. Can’t see that really would give ’em a but whatever. And then came over the virus that would hijack your browser. All searches proceeded to a search engine which was already packed with PPC links, search results would come back etc. laden with affiliate links, Now THAT made some sense. Anyway…
The current ransomware people, for the most part, seem to have been fairly conscientious in their business model. Pay – and GET your data back. That’s the difference. Obviously, a lapse in security of some kind has been found or used in some sort (or your antivirus application), but at this time, you should be concerned about mopping up the mess left on your Windows machine. Yes, secrecy and security always HAVE been an issue with Windows systems – at least more than other operating systems. But, back to our problem at hand…
Prior to this, virus writers had no urge to handle anyone. Its worst part was that they also were generally pretty poor at the code writing and also would end up crashing most computers with their half baked software/code/ programs. I understand (or have heard at least) that there are sites out there that will write your virus for you – like small bits of code that can be embedded into an e-mail file attachment or setup as drive by download on a hacked site. Perhaps that is where the inferior quality came in. And the computer would crash. Idiots. If the virus can be pushed enough computers though, even if the operating system couldn’t handle it it might create some good money. And to my advantage, it has made me a living through fixing the wrecks that these idiots left behind.
What is actually occurring in your personal computer is the the infection consists of only employing an encryption algorithm in your pc hard drive. You are good now if you HAVE a back-up, you could always restore an earlier version. In case you don’t have one you’re going to have to rely on a virus writer to actually give you the proper key if you choose to cover your ransom. It’s generally a couple hundred dollars. We’re always pleased to talk to you for those who have questions. If you need to talk to someone who can provide you an honest answer or DO get something on your own computer, you are able to get us.
This crop of ransomware virus stuff is in fact carrying through with the assurance to restore your data if you pay. That is the greatest difference. They are clearly little incentive if l33t hackz0rz likely to just go in their pocket to pay any it anything and you don’t get your data. That is not dissimilar to the delete your data bit above and it actually does NO ONE any good. However, if we are able to COUNT on the crooks to carry through with all the promise of truly giving a high percentage of the time to the proper key, THEN there is incentive to pay them.
Occasionally, you need to keep your eye, although gripes my sense of fair play and anyone profiting away from something like this. You would like your data back. They have a history (lately) of carrying through on sending the decrypt key back after payment. Sometimes, no matter what’s “right”, it’s just a whole lot easier and brighter to pay.