A little birdy recently whispered in my ear, informing me that one of Edmonton’s four largest casinos was the present victim of a cryptolocker-type attack. The punchline being, whereas individual and small business ransom demands to this point have typically ranged in the 2-2.5 BTC range, this particular casino was asked to cough up… 100 BTC.
That’s no paltry sum, even if it’s “the cost of doing business” to the casino operator, but nor does paying it create any disincentive for the hard-drive-hostage-hackers not to come back again next year, if not next month, with the same trick, the same demands, and the same resulting payday. It’s not like the casino is going to use this event as a wake-up call or call to action. Aside from the fact that the casino could’ve readily afforded a still greater ransom sum – dependent on their computer systems for everything from security cameras to chip delivery verification as they are – the fact of the matter remains that they can’t intellectually afford to get off of Winbloze operating systems. This means that they will continue, without a shadow of a doubt, to be highly profitable targets for any and all comers.
The solution, of course, is to stop paying the Danegeldi and start using Linux. If the casino operators are shrewd enough to run a consistently profitable operation, they can surely calculate the cost of more secure software. One would think!
In the interim, high-profile and digitally ignorant (ie. Winbloze-dependent) operations, such as the aforementioned casinos, such as hospitals and airports and utility companies, are advised to make hourly back-ups of any and all programs and files, and furthermore to switch to their back-ups instead of paying the hackers, should any cryptolocker-type attacks be committed against them, which they assuredly will be in due course.
Unless your daughter is being ransomed and you just received her pinky finger in the mail, make back-ups of all your shit and tell the hackers to fuck off.
After all, the nation that pays it is lost!
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- To quote Kipling :
It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation
To call upon a neighbour and to say: —
“We invaded you last night–we are quite prepared to fight,
Unless you pay us cash to go away.”
And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
And the people who ask it explain
That you’ve only to pay ‘em the Dane-geld
And then you’ll get rid of the Dane!
It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,
To puff and look important and to say: —
“Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away.”
And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
But we’ve proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.
It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
For fear they should succumb and go astray;
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to say: —
“We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that pays it is lost!”