A computer researcher haggled with a Russian ransomware criminal

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It may seem somewhat bizarre, but these ransomers operate in a reputation economy, and care about “customer satisfaction.” Most of the people they successfully infect will be able to replace the lost data, or won’t care enough to pay the ransom. So that thin margin of paying victims becomes important enough to protect.

I’ve read elsewhere of ransomers who decrypted the files of a victim who missed a deadline (and so incurred an automatic increase in the ransom) but had already paid the original ransom in the meantime. The only reason to help her at that point is that they wanted it known that ransomware XYZ goes to nice guys who will work with you and hold up their end of the deal.

So there is some honor among thieves, or at least as much as there is with any other commercial enterprise.


And I thought REAMDE was fiction.

I’m not sure that means what you think. It’s about thieves treating each other with honor, but there’s only one thief in this story.

Sounds better than Comcast.


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