Ransom acts of kindness
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Earlier in the year we wrote about how ransomware is here to stay for the long game. We talked about the different stages of its development and growth into a whole new industry and ecosystem. We predicted that growth would take different shapes as cyber criminals continue to innovate to generate more profits and reduce their risk. What we didn’t expect was a new strain of ransomware which, instead of demanding payments to release files, would instead ask for victims to evidence acts of kindness. What we like to call, ransom acts of kindness.
Goodwill ransomware, as its authors want it to be known, does exactly that. Instead of requesting bitcoin payments, GoodWill requests its victims help people in need. It lists several ways in which victims can perform such acts of kindness. For example, donating clothes, feeding less fortunate children, or providing financial assistance to hospital patients.
It seems a little ironic that a criminal gang locks the devices of people and then requests acts of kindness. It is possible that the very victim of ransomware could be someone in need, or someone who works at a hospital, for example. Although there is clearly some good intent in the design, forcing people to act in kind ways is more of a publicity stunt than true intent to act positively. If anything, this example shows us that ransomware and cyber criminals will continue to surprise us, but perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by that and instead, continue to act securely and keep an eye open on the development of the cyber threat landscape.
If you run a business and don’t want a ransomware surprise, get in touch with us to undertake a ransomware assessment. We identify security gaps and help you fill them by utillising seasoned security professionals in our affordable consulting packages.
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