The penniless hero of the ransomware epidemic has written more decryptors than anyone else

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Plenty of dollars out there for insurance companies and scammers who just pay off the extortionists, none for this guy.


This guy could be pulling a six figure income if he moved closer to Chicago.

He could probably still get a better job than he has in Normal, though.


There is a whole IT security industry full of grifters, and this is down to one good guy - smh. I think I know how this one ends, in the real world.
Anyway, this would be a great reminder to sign up for Propublica newsletters. Interesting topics and good reporting.


Dude needs to list a postal address where people can send checks. At least he can verify the check before depositing it.


@doctorow link thyself! Does Bruce have any grant program leads emerging? Seems like this guy is perfect.


Someone should just give this guy a grant to do this work 40 hours a week.

I think that someone is me, maybe us? I can’t swing a grant, but I can contribute a small amount monthly.

Worth noting that he has a Patreon at the bottom of his site.

I love his handle Demonslay335


Legit question here, apart from subbing to his Patreon should we be starting a GoFundMe?

I’d do it, but I’m just some random Internet schmoe. It’d look better if someone with some visibility started the fund, just to avoid any accusations of running a scam.


@doctorow, can you add his Patreon link to the main article? It’s


somebody propose this guy for a MacArthur Fellowship.


Nice theory but what’s to stop bad actors from donating to his Patreon using fraudulent payment methods and having your (his) Patreon blocked, just like with the other 3rd-party payment services?

The dude really needs to accept Bitcoin.

Y’know, it would be great if everyone could give some percentage of their income to be used for the public interest, and this guy could somehow get permanantly funded for the collective good of the country.

Man, that sort of thing could be hella useful for all kinds of public works projects! I wish we had something like that!


Even aside from the (harrowing and brutal) issue of also having to cope with the physical and financial burdens of serious medical problems; this seems like a morally commendable impulse that is nevertheless sub-optimal:

Someone this good at helping ransomware victims and reducing the profitability of ransomware attacks(I can’t speak for his level of technical prowess; but he clearly knows at least enough to hit the less competent ones and is tireless in supporting myriad variants, which is enough to count as vastly above average when good guys are in such short supply) is horribly wasted on a paper route or doing helpdesk stuff.

In an ideal world, hopefully everyone could get what they want if he charged some of the less tragic clients and did the really sad stories pro-bono; but the fact that his decryption efforts pay him nothing is clearly cutting into his ability to devote time to them; and they are of notably greater value to everyone than what he is doing to pay the bills.

None of this implies that his skill obliges him to serve for the good of the collective, if he decided that he was burned out on ransomware and sought peace in paper delivery that would be his call; but it doesn’t seem to be what is going on here; which gives us an outcome that is both morally and pragmatically unsatisfactory.


Maybe this guy can reach out to EFF or another well known advocacy group and they could either help or amplify his call for assistance?


There’ll be shrinkage, sure. But lets get the fund started now and worry about idealism later.

I’m gonna come right out and say it. Would @doctorow or another mutant take point on this? I’ve got $50 I’m willing to donate right now. Lets give this guy a break.


That’s fairly normal. In the world of IT and software development it pays to sin.


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