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(Tom's Guide)   Developers of infamous Ransomware "Cryptolocker", unable to accept that people would rather reformat their computers than pay out, update the virus to provide a second chance offer   (tomsguide.com) divider line 91
    More: Dumbass, Brian Krebs, local television, RSA, Windows PCs, Dropbox, Creative Suite, anti-virus  
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5608 clicks; posted to Geek » on 05 Nov 2013 at 10:51 AM (44 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-11-05 09:36:19 AM
$300, 300 euros or 2 Bitcoins

Are Bitcoins really worth $150 or more a piece?
 
2013-11-05 09:39:13 AM
Pro tip: Always back up your important stuff. And stop going to weird porn sites.
 
2013-11-05 09:57:12 AM

Rev. Skarekroe: $300, 300 euros or 2 Bitcoins

Are Bitcoins really worth $150 or more a piece?


$230.58, apparently.  Paying in USD is your best bet.
/ Yes, I do wish I had bought some bitcoins when they were worth about 25 cents.
 
2013-11-05 10:02:34 AM
Because many victims preferred to lose their files rather than hand over credit-card information, the criminals added a Bitcoin option so that users could at least keep their financial information private.

I really hope the real reason here was that people were smart enough to have backups, but I know that's doubtful.
I wonder how much money these guys have actually made.
 
2013-11-05 10:59:57 AM
So if they do pay, do they actually get their shiat back or do these assholes just suddenly disappear leaving you farked anyway?
 
2013-11-05 11:02:09 AM
serial_crusher: people were smart enough to have backups, but I know that's doubtful.

Offline backups (since it goes after mounted drives as well, having a backup connected to the machine makes it vulnerable)

So yeah, very doubtful.

// most people just don't give that much of a damn about their data.
 
2013-11-05 11:08:20 AM
I've tried to get that off of someone's hard drive by reformatting. I assumed even that didn't work because after a clean format on the laptop I was working on, Cryptolocker just reappeared.
 
2013-11-05 11:10:19 AM

lordargent: serial_crusher: people were smart enough to have backups, but I know that's doubtful.

Offline backups (since it goes after mounted drives as well, having a backup connected to the machine makes it vulnerable)

So yeah, very doubtful.

// most people just don't give that much of a damn about their data.


Right, yeah. I'm in that fuzzy-logic range where the stuff I don't want to lose, I have up hosted in a server somewhere on the internet. The reasoning is that my rig could die on me, and I couldn't trust myself to keep offline backups in a decent place.

So I think to myself "So, some random server out there that could vanish at any moment is preferable to being more responsible with your important data"

"Well, maybe it just turns out it's not so important that I change myself over it."
 
2013-11-05 11:11:37 AM
We had that go around the office here for some of the sales department and one or two didn't have their antivirus running for some reason. Removed the malware, restore files from protected backup. Smack around the back of the head to keep their protection running. Problem solved.

abhorrent1: So if they do pay, do they actually get their shiat back or do these assholes just suddenly disappear leaving you farked anyway?


Apparently so, but then again they still have the virus on their system and it not long before the cycle repeats.

/Seal Team 6 solution advised.
 
2013-11-05 11:12:39 AM
these days a re-install of win 7 or 8 takes about 20 minutes and doesn't even destroy your data (and is very easy to do)- and that assumes the data is on the same disk as the OS. with the space requirements of things like HD movies, music collectons and photos- combined with the ever plummeting price of storage- even casual users tend to have external drives/secondary internal drives. reinstall the primary drive is pretty trivial. Worst case, as long as you have your documents, quicken and tax returns backed up (which you can do easily on a 5 dollar thumb drive) what else do you need that would be worth 300 bucks vs. re-downloading it?
 
2013-11-05 11:15:13 AM
Is it difficult to find these people? Are they hiding behind a number of proxies?

If it is possible to send them money, shouldn't it be possible to send them a drone?
 
2013-11-05 11:17:37 AM

lordargent: serial_crusher: people were smart enough to have backups, but I know that's doubtful.

Offline backups (since it goes after mounted drives as well, having a backup connected to the machine makes it vulnerable)

So yeah, very doubtful.

// most people just don't give that much of a damn about their data.


Yeah, I mean there is a few game saves that might be annoying to lose, and I would have to reconstruct my address/phone numbers/birthday list, apart from that it would just be a hassle reinstalling, loss of data is not really important for me anyway.
 
2013-11-05 11:19:06 AM

limeyfellow: We had that go around the office here for some of the sales department and one or two didn't have their antivirus running for some reason. Removed the malware, restore files from protected backup. Smack around the back of the head to keep their protection running. Problem solved.

abhorrent1: So if they do pay, do they actually get their shiat back or do these assholes just suddenly disappear leaving you farked anyway?

Apparently so, but then again they still have the virus on their system and it not long before the cycle repeats.

/Seal Team 6 solution advised.


I did hear tales of law enforcement seizing and shutting down servers owned by the bad guys, making a number of private keys inaccessible in the process.  I don't know if that was speculation or actual fact though.
 
2013-11-05 11:21:55 AM

abhorrent1: So if they do pay, do they actually get their shiat back or do these assholes just suddenly disappear leaving you farked anyway?


What do you think?
 
2013-11-05 11:28:09 AM

mrlewish: abhorrent1: So if they do pay, do they actually get their shiat back or do these assholes just suddenly disappear leaving you farked anyway?

What do you think?


Of course, the unlock your stuff, they do have a reputation to uphold after all.

// I wonder what happens when you reverse the charges?
 
2013-11-05 11:32:56 AM

bdub77: Pro tip: Always back up your important stuff. And stop going to weird porn sites.


Define 'weird'.
 
2013-11-05 11:37:30 AM
How farking stupid does one have to be to get infected with this virus? Are there that many idiots opening up xls/zip files/downloading files from people they don't know? Common sense.....where did it go?
 
2013-11-05 11:38:09 AM
Don't open dodgy email attachments. That would take care of most of this crap.
 
2013-11-05 11:40:04 AM

ferretman: How farking stupid does one have to be to get infected with this virus? Are there that many idiots opening up xls/zip files/downloading files from people they don't know? Common sense.....where did it go?


Half the population is below average intelligence. Keep that in mind at all times when dealing with the general public.
 
2013-11-05 11:42:16 AM

serial_crusher: $230.58, apparently. Paying in USD is your best bet.
/ Yes, I do wish I had bought some bitcoins when they were worth about 25 cents.


The problem with buttcoin is that if you had 5000 you wanted to cash out today to buy, say, a house or a car, there is nobody on earth who has the desire to buy 5000 bitcoins and also the finances to afford them.

Getting buttcoin to USD pretty much involves going to "bank of the shady dude in the van down by the old drainage culvert south of town."

Or you get someone to mail you a pre-paid VISA card

Or you try and get it out of Magic: The Gathering Online, Exchange.   But they currently allow only limited withdrawls and have a lagtime of days or weeks.
 
2013-11-05 11:44:04 AM

Abe Vigoda's Ghost: bdub77: Pro tip: Always back up your important stuff. And stop going to weird porn sites.

Define 'weird'.


Free Lyrics websites are the most common malware infection vectors these days actually.

/children will click on anything, and they love looking up song lyrics.
//Adults aren't any different.
///Perverts realize they are doing something risky and take protections.
 
2013-11-05 11:45:29 AM
FTFA:Like other forms of ransomware...

WTF?  This is a thing now?  And people aren't locked away in jail?!

Computer tech law needs a serious overall, especially the part about EULAs.
 
2013-11-05 11:52:42 AM
xria: Yeah, I mean there is a few game saves that might be annoying to lose, and I would have to reconstruct my address/phone numbers/birthday list, apart from that it would just be a hassle reinstalling, loss of data is not really important for me anyway.

I have 13 years of photographs/panoramas in the RAW format.

fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net
scontent-a-sjc.xx.fbcdn.net

scontent-b-sjc.xx.fbcdn.net

// there are five copies across three different devices.
 
2013-11-05 11:53:56 AM
blue_2501: WTF? This is a thing now? And people aren't locked away in jail?!

People in other countries don't tend to have anything to fear from US laws with regards to the Internet.
 
2013-11-05 12:07:42 PM

tlchwi02: these days a re-install of win 7 or 8 takes about 20 minutes and doesn't even destroy your data (and is very easy to do)- and that assumes the data is on the same disk as the OS. with the space requirements of things like HD movies, music collectons and photos- combined with the ever plummeting price of storage- even casual users tend to have external drives/secondary internal drives. reinstall the primary drive is pretty trivial. Worst case, as long as you have your documents, quicken and tax returns backed up (which you can do easily on a 5 dollar thumb drive) what else do you need that would be worth 300 bucks vs. re-downloading it?


I take it you haven't messed with Cryptolocker yet.  Your data is hosed unless you either, a) have good offline backups or 2) pay them the ransom and hope they unlock your files.

It's a biatch and infected our office pretty badly.  The a-holes spoofed an internal email address and our dumb users opened up the file and wondered why it didn't work (and had disabled her antivirus somehow).  Good thing we have great backups and didn't lose any data, but it was hell to clean up because it migrated onto a file server and was caught rather quickly.
 
2013-11-05 12:11:41 PM
So, we can't have somebody find these guys and put a shiv in their necks?
 
2013-11-05 12:13:25 PM

Obbi: Right, yeah. I'm in that fuzzy-logic range where the stuff I don't want to lose, I have up hosted in a server somewhere on the internet. The reasoning is that my rig could die on me, and I couldn't trust myself to keep offline backups in a decent place.

So I think to myself "So, some random server out there that could vanish at any moment is preferable to being more responsible with your important data"

"Well, maybe it just turns out it's not so important that I change myself over it."


I use Dropbox pretty heavily, but it is syncing data between several machines plus doing cloud storage, file sharing, etc, all at the same time. I'm reasonably sure Dropbox isn't going to vanish tomorrow, there security setup seems pretty good, and my data is stored on multiple machines I have direct access too. Seems like a pretty good bet to me.

Of course that only covers some of the data I need to keep backed up for work. But other critical stuff is backed up to an onsite server maintained by the University, but owned by us.
 
2013-11-05 12:15:57 PM

ferretman: How farking stupid does one have to be to get infected with this virus? Are there that many idiots opening up xls/zip files/downloading files from people they don't know? Common sense.....where did it go?


My father-in-law will find a way to get this, just like he does everything else.  I don't think it's weird porn, but in his case he tries to be productive while spending no money so he installs a lot of dodgy software and goes to the dodgy sites that advertise them.  Since I often don't have time for his shiat, he ends up paying someone to scrub his computer every couple of months or so, then it runs like crap because what he really needed was a nuke and reinstall, but that would mean a little effort on his part.

If anyone knows a fully automated system to take PDFs and multipage TIFFs and turn them into perfectly OCR'd and formatted Word Documents (or open office) he'd be a happy clam.
 
2013-11-05 12:27:47 PM

Abe Vigoda's Ghost: Half the population is below average intelligence. Keep that in mind at all times when dealing with the general public.


No. I know it's a popular George Carlin quote, and I know people say it to seem smart/cynical, but that's not how averages work.

If I have the numbers 9, 7, 6, and 1, half of the numbers are not less than 5.75.

Now, if we assume a bell shaped curve for intelligence (once we've DEFINED how in gods name we *quanitfy* intelligence, and IQ and SAT aren't necessarily the best judges of that...), THEN we can say half of all people are of less than average intelligence.
 
2013-11-05 12:29:16 PM

blue_2501: FTFA:Like other forms of ransomware...

WTF?  This is a thing now?  And people aren't locked away in jail?!

Computer tech law needs a serious overall, especially the part about EULAs.


Uh, it's already illegal, the problem is the folks are in other countries, like Russia.
 
2013-11-05 12:35:03 PM
I still don't know how people get this crap on their computers in the first place. I've never had a virus or any kind of malware on any of my computers and I honestly don't know where people even find it. Does it come from popups or ads? I've had them blocked for years so it beats me where it comes from and how gullible and naive do you have to be to even install something like this? It just baffles me.
 
2013-11-05 12:40:15 PM

lordargent: blue_2501: WTF? This is a thing now? And people aren't locked away in jail?!

People in other countries don't tend to have anything to fear from US laws with regards to the Internet.


Well they called in all the stops to go after the owner of a filesharing website.  But when people do ACTUAL harm they can't be assed?
 
2013-11-05 12:44:01 PM

Warlordtrooper: lordargent: blue_2501: WTF? This is a thing now? And people aren't locked away in jail?!

People in other countries don't tend to have anything to fear from US laws with regards to the Internet.

Well they called in all the stops to go after the owner of a filesharing website.  But when people do ACTUAL harm they can't be assed?


Oh if you share mp3s the US will send an invasion force to your country to find you. You don't mess with the entertainment industry.
 
2013-11-05 12:47:49 PM

Felgraf: Uh, it's already illegal, the problem is the folks are in other countries, like Russia.


Or, in russia's case:

The problem is that it's released BY other countries, like russia...

//at the very least, it wouldn't be all that surprising.
 
2013-11-05 01:11:35 PM

socodog: So, we can't have somebody find these guys and put a shiv in their necks?


That's what I've always wondered. At what point does it become desirable to track down the authors of these programs and fark their world up?

I assumed it was either not cost effective or downright impossible to track them down.
 
2013-11-05 01:21:01 PM

Mentalpatient87: socodog: So, we can't have somebody find these guys and put a shiv in their necks?

That's what I've always wondered. At what point does it become desirable to track down the authors of these programs and fark their world up?

I assumed it was either not cost effective or downright impossible to track them down.


I've honestly been wondering about this too.  Infecting Joe User's computer is one thing, but what happens if it hits something owned by a major crime syndicate?  They may well have contacts that will be able to identify the authors, and I imagine that shortly afterwards the authors either end up dead or without working knees.
 
2013-11-05 01:21:50 PM

Felgraf: Abe Vigoda's Ghost: Half the population is below average intelligence. Keep that in mind at all times when dealing with the general public.

No. I know it's a popular George Carlin quote, and I know people say it to seem smart/cynical, but that's not how averages work.

If I have the numbers 9, 7, 6, and 1, half of the numbers are not less than 5.75.

Now, if we assume a bell shaped curve for intelligence (once we've DEFINED how in gods name we *quanitfy* intelligence, and IQ and SAT aren't necessarily the best judges of that...), THEN we can say half of all people are of less than average intelligence.


I had that same thought.  However, IQ test scores are generally normalized when they provide results.  If one were to go with the idea that IQ test scored indicate intelligence then Abe Vigoda's ghost would actually be correct.
 
2013-11-05 01:24:24 PM

Rev. Skarekroe: Are Bitcoins really worth $150 or more a piece?


Yes, for now.
i.imgur.com
 
2013-11-05 01:34:29 PM
JonZoidberg: If anyone knows a fully automated system to take PDFs and multipage TIFFs and turn them into perfectly OCR'd and formatted Word Documents (or open office) he'd be a happy clam.

Does not exist.

// Because believe me, I have tried, now the question is, what level of imperfection are you willing to accept.
 
2013-11-05 01:42:48 PM

JonZoidberg: If anyone knows a fully automated system to take PDFs and multipage TIFFs and turn them into perfectly OCR'd and formatted Word Documents (or open office) he'd be a happy clam.


I so happen to have created such a program and would be more than happy to send it to you.  Just give me your email address and when I get around to sending you the program just click the link "notavirus.exe"
 
2013-11-05 01:47:55 PM
JonZoidberg:

If anyone knows a fully automated system to take PDFs and multipage TIFFs and turn them into perfectly OCR'd and formatted Word Documents (or open office) he'd be a happy clam.

Nothing's perfect, but Google Drive works OCR with PDFs, jpgs, pngs and gifs, with some limitations.

https://suppor t.google.com/drive/answer/176692?hl=en
 
2013-11-05 01:52:50 PM

MindStalker: mrlewish: abhorrent1: So if they do pay, do they actually get their shiat back or do these assholes just suddenly disappear leaving you farked anyway?

What do you think?

Of course, the unlock your stuff, they do have a reputation to uphold after all.

// I wonder what happens when you reverse the charges?


They also watch the threads about their virus on places like bleeping computer -- It is kinda creepy.

I think this is really a proof of concept virus more than anything... and it proved itself. I got one user infected with this about five weeks back, lucky for me it was a salesperson's pc and had no access to anything important, no shared drives at all. We've expanded our attachment block list by a lot, since absolutely nothing detected the virus when I got my hands on it a day later, (Zero hits on Virus total!).

I can't even blame the users much there are just too many vectors, hijacked websites, drive by downloads, compromised ads, good 'ole social engineering style emails. Ironically my over 50 crowd are pretty good about stuff. They know they don't know shiat about PCs and they will ask before doing something they don't understand. It is the supposedly tech savvy crowd  who just kind of grew up with PCs that cause me grief because they will either not tell anyone about the problem, or try to fix it themselves.
 
2013-11-05 02:06:12 PM

KhanAidan: I had that same thought. However, IQ test scores are generally normalized when they provide results. If one were to go with the idea that IQ test scored indicate intelligence then Abe Vigoda's ghost would actually be correct.


Felgraf: Now, if we assume a bell shaped curve for intelligence


One purpose of IQ was that it WAS a normal distribution curve (centered on 100), so that yes, the average is actually the center and there would be approximately equal distributions on both ends.  So Carlin was not wrong, assuming you have faith that IQ means anything.

Now, the question of whether IQ is really meaningful is something else entirely.
 
2013-11-05 02:07:53 PM
For the developer of this travesty:
 
2013-11-05 02:09:02 PM

lordargent: JonZoidberg: If anyone knows a fully automated system to take PDFs and multipage TIFFs and turn them into perfectly OCR'd and formatted Word Documents (or open office) he'd be a happy clam.

Does not exist.

// Because believe me, I have tried, now the question is, what level of imperfection are you willing to accept.


Your green-quotingshticksucks. Stop it.
 
2013-11-05 02:09:06 PM
I've got to wonder if this is why Bitcoins are going up in price right now.

After all, it's not just druggies and gun nuts using Bitcoin anymore, right?
 
2013-11-05 02:09:51 PM

NuclearPenguins: lordargent: JonZoidberg: If anyone knows a fully automated system to take PDFs and multipage TIFFs and turn them into perfectly OCR'd and formatted Word Documents (or open office) he'd be a happy clam.

Does not exist.

// Because believe me, I have tried, now the question is, what level of imperfection are you willing to accept.

Your green-quoting shtick sucks. Stop it.


FTFM
 
2013-11-05 02:16:01 PM

Jormungandr: It is the supposedly tech savvy crowd  who just kind of grew up with PCs that cause me grief because they will either not tell anyone about the problem, or try to fix it themselves.


Funny, I refer to them as "click-happy". They feel they're so experienced they tend to click really fast on everything like they're in a race for something. Mind you, they of course don't pay any attention to what they're clicking on.
 
2013-11-05 02:42:01 PM
If this happened to me, depending on how and when it happened; I would be willing to pay.  But I'd never believe they'd actually give me the key, and even if they did, I'd have to assume they'd be interested stealing whatever financial details I provide....so I'd just format.

I'm not sure if anyone has ever done it (and I'm pretending that it is an original idea) but I've always wanted to write a malware that would slowly scan your hard-drive for anything that might be illegal.  Stolen movies/mp3s/images or videos that were made in countries with different age of consent laws but that get aggregated together on popular free adult-themed sites.  Presumably everyone is on Facebook and it would use that to decide if the primary computer user was married or single and forward on e-mails that could indicate infidelity.  If they log into a bank account, that would be recorded too.  As it collects data it would update some database somewhere.....then I'd blackmail them.

I'd have lots of info to work from, let's say I knew someone was downloading mp3s - lots of people do, but I know the guy is loaded; so I fake up some letters and offer to settle out-of-court, including a list of all the pirated mp3s he has.  If the RIAA can do it, I should be able to do it while pretending to be the RIAA.

Sure, it's illegal, but I'd be able to justify it by knowing I'm only punishing criminals!
 
2013-11-05 02:45:20 PM
Shouldn't they be traceable if they accept credit card payments? And even it they can't be arrested, couldn't the credit card companies block them?
 
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