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Should the Website that Infected a PC with Ransomware, Pay?

Data Security

In the past couple of months, we’ve been introduced to a rogue’s gallery of ransomware variants.

Chimera threatened to publish files on the internet if the ransom remains unpaid. Ransom32 was our first ransomware written in Javascript and adds the innovation of Ransomware-as-a-Service. Locky, now purported to be affecting 90,000 systems per day, encrypts data on local drives and unmapped network shares. KeRanger was our first Mac ransomware.

We have enough fodder for an action movie, starring Chris Pine or the hunk-a-rama of your choice to save the day from a Javier Bardem-like master cyber criminal!

Sure, there’s a lot to worry about with ransomware, but you should really focus your worry energy on coming up with a plan to deal with the aftermath of an attack. The big question everyone is asking is whether or not to pay these digital blackmailers.

I covered this dilemma briefly in my ransomware guide.

The short answer is “it depends”.

Some advocates tell you to pay, and some equally smart people argue the opposite. Sorry, there are no simple answers! By the way, Power Worm, a defective ransomware product ended up destroying the victim’s data regardless of whether the victim paid!

But, now we’re faced with another factor to consider. Recently (some of you may have already heard), a new ransomware malvertising campaign just hit a bunch of popular news organizations’ websites. The campaign has likely exposed tens of thousands of people who were installing …. (wait for it) mainly crypto ransomware.1

So while affected news sites asked readers to turn off adblockers, readers not surprisingly wondered, “An ad on your site infected my PC w/ ransomware. Will you pay to get my data back?”

news org

What do you think? Share your opinions with us below!





Cindy Ng

Cindy Ng

Cindy is the host of the Inside Out Security podcast.


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