I wanted to ramble a bit about Tricksters↑ today and I was going to reference Loki↑ (for those into Thor etc.,) or Coyote↑ but, given my visit this morning, I’ll point you towards malevolent Yokai↑ instead.
Still under construction Yamatai↑ is a Japanese-themed sim and it looks like it’s going to be stunning. It’s also adopted an “adult” maturity rating, which could mean just about anything. I try not to pre-judge (no, really!) so if it turns out to be a group that kicks puppies ….. I apologize.
So, yes, about those Tricksters. I’m sure by now you’ve heard about Cryptolocker↑ – you click on the wrong thing and then, subsequently, a message pops up on your desktop that your files have been encrypted and if you don’t send about $300 to them within 24 hours you won’t get the key to unlock them. It’s serious and it’s true and it’s part of that fun category of malicious infections called “ransomware“.
Update: I should point out, as it does in the article, that networked and cloud storage are not immune.
Not paying extortion is, in my mind, the only obvious choice to make. However, losing all your files is a heavy price to pay for many and so they’ve given the bastards their money (Bitcoin is one of their favourite currencies). I checked the ones I care about and the list of file types they encrypt includes jpg, but not bmp or png, according to the last list↑ I saw. However, that list is changing as new types are added by the little buggers.
I mentioned image files because that’s the only thing on here I’d really hate to lose. I have plans for all those pics. There are tips in that first Cryptolocker↑ link to protect yourself – all of which are gibberish to me, so I’ve been pricing external hard drives.
Potential victims are not the only ones who have been following this story, copycats are (of course) piling on. The other night I cleared my Firefox cache and when I started it up again my browser was highjacked by a threatening page claiming to be from the “Canadian Police Agency“. There is no such animal. :)
According to these future Rhode Scholars, I had been caught downloading porn (didn’t happen) and they had encrypted my files to show me how serious they were about enforcing the $100 fine. My files were not encrypted – the only impact they had was to force me to uninstall Firefox, clear the registry, and re-install just to get rid of the extortion attempt.
I don’t think you have to be religious to believe that there’s a special hell for assholes. I’d like to think it’s here on earth and they will all get to visit – in perpetuity. The rest of us can then get on with our virtual lives in comfort and peace. :)