Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Why the FBI is wrong: you should never pay ransomware
The truth of the matter, as the ProtonMail example highlights, is that you can't actually trust the bad guys, so paying any ransom is always going to be a gamble. The FBI advice is about as useful as a one-legged man at an arse-kicking party. When it comes to paying a ransom to decrypt your data, the odds are stacked against you in my experience. How so? Well, quite apart from the trust issue (and yes I am banging on about that, for a very good reason) there's the coding issue. Take the Power Worm ransomware that was spotted doing the rounds recently - it was so badly coded that the attackers couldn't decrypt your locked up data even if you paid the release fee and they wanted to. Why so? Well, this variant was so full of bugs that it effectively destroyed the keys required to decrypt data.