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Ransom-Ware and the Bitcoin Heist - How to fix this problem

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posted on May, 15 2017 @ 09:04 AM
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Lately I've seen a lot of news of this topic but what I haven't seen was someone step forward and ask for the obvious solution to this mega problem. Ransom-ware is really big business for anyone who knows what they're doing.

- Create the virus
- Infect computer
- Demand the owner pay you in BitCoins to unlock it.
- BitCoins can not be tracked
- Cash in your new BitCoins for their worth and you're free to splurge

The ransom-ware issue is as old as BitCoin. With the spike in worth of BitCoin recently ($1800 per bitcoin) it was a given that something like this was going to happen. As soon as I saw the value shoot up to 1800, I knew that either some other crypto bank would get hacked (probably from the owners themselves... that's usually the case) or someone would do something on a mass scale that would require BitCoins as a ransom.

And there it is...

As soon as Japan allowed the use of BitCoin on a large scale as it did recently, I cringe that I didn't jump back on the coin when it was $200 per coin all that long ago. It remained low for quite a while after.

Here is a History Chart for Prices and Events that moved those Prices

Here is a tad bit of info for each of these tools used in this beautiful heist that's wreaking so much

Ransom-ware:
- Virus software that can infiltrate a system by email attachments (usually in docx format), visiting websites that will install the virus on your system, infected thumb drives, etc. These viruses hit anyone and everyone, from the little old lady who desperately wants her pictures back that she stores on her computer to your local donut shop. They are often directed to big money targets, like in this case, hospitals, that will almost always pay to get their systems unlocked because of the desperate situation they're put in. Once the ransom is paid, the systems are unlocked.

Rant On:
.... Hospitals... Cmon man! WTF is so evil that they will target the sick and dying?!!!! It really takes a special kind of person. The persons responsible should be hung in a public square and made a spectical of. Seriously! Find these bastards and slay them in front of the world!
Rant Off:

BitCoin:
- An untraceable form of currency that came to the internet some years ago that were worth almost nothing one day and blossomed out so much that it made so many people millionaires almost overnight. Seriously... People had millions of these coins because it was just a 'thing'. It was never meant to go anywhere. People were giving these away to each other in forums, reddit and everywhere else like stars on ATS. Basically it was just like the stars and flags here. You threw up a naked picture of your wife... 100,000 BitCoins for you! Woot! Then one day... he with the most BitCoins, Won! ...and boy did they win. People started opening up virtual banks and wallets for this. More coins sprung out of nowhere. Eventually, those bank owners and wallet makers and even crafty people who knew how to get around those, started stealing those coins because face it... There were no laws against it and it wasn't a protected commodity. Some countries started taking note and banned them. Some let them be used as currency of sorts. Some countries even allowed prosecution of those who were stealing, hacking and embezzling these coins. Government agencies really got into it when Silk Road became a huge issue. It''s ALL ABOUT THE DRUGS!!! Then the world knew all about BitCoin.
- The interesting things about BitCoins... They are blockchains that act like encryption. You can't track the source or the destination. It's 100% anonymous. The guys running Silk Road would have never been caught had he not been a complete dumbass. It's a currency based on encryption where you put a worth to it by the difficulty of "mining" the stuff from a virtual place. Imagine this. Lets say your computer is hosting a seed. A person logging in to your computer calculates 1+1=2 then 1+2=3 and so forth and so on. That would give you 2 fractions of a bit coin. Lets say those numbers get REALLY high (like today) and it takes a lot more processing power and time for your system to figure out the next calculation. That's what BitCoin is. The numbers don't mean anything. It's just silliness that worth billions today. However, some coins do have a use when applied to science. Though, for the most part... It may have been just a silly little thing in the beginning, but it turned into the currency of choice to cover up everything from drug sales to prostitution to gun running to anything and everything you didn't want a trail.

So you see... It's the perfect storm. Two tools used to spread malice come together to wreak havoc all over the world. Ahh... The perfect virtual apocalyps.


ok... So it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this stuff out.

Ransom-ware started with BitCoin. You want to get rid of the issue? Ban crypto currencies. At least ban it until there is a way to track destinations.

Look, I'm all for crypto currencies because it's how money should be... anything you find of worth may have a worth to someone else. It's the big F U middle finger to the man. But, there is a big problem with this that one only realizes when something like this takes place...

If you can't track a source or destination of a currency, there is no way to track who's doing all of the crazy stuff like this. Imagine the potential that this kind of activity can have on the world. We're already seeing a small part of it compared to what it could really be.

Simple... BAN UNTRACEABLE CRYPTO CURRENCIES

The prices will plummet to eventually nothing. This little problem will go away over night.


Still... The "conspiracy nut" in me asks... "Who really did this? Is it possible our government did it"?

Look at the info here. Russia is pretty pissed that they're being affected. The delivery system was possibly a tool made by our own agencies. I always wondered how that stuff got out so easily.

One would think if we can make software that damn sophisticated... How did it get out so easy? You would think that our servers are more secure than the software we made to unsecure other servers. Cmon... If you're going to build a nuclear reactor, you better build a good wall to contain it!

Something doesn't fit right with me. I feel more like:

"Lets build this really sophisticated Trojan that can infiltrate any system. Let's claim it's been stolen. Hell, let's distribute it ourselves and say it's been stolen. Then... Wait for it... Lets RANSOMWARE major systems everywhere! It's the perfect bait and switch. While people are freaking out over that, we can quietly be in other systems or whatever...."

Or... Maybe our own government did this to take down BitCoin and crypto currencies. It's becoming very successful now. Other people are building on it to make their own currency because it's solid. You can't "print more" the way you do with paper money. You can't track it. You can't hack it or counterfeit it. (you can only hack the hosting wallets or banks). I'd imagine many governments who want to control money (Big banks!) would be really pissed at this becoming so big. And it DID get so big. It's worth more than gold!!! ...and there is no way in hell banks can control it.



Oh yeah... Btw... I hope I don't turn up missing or hunted down like a terror after this post

edit on 15-5-2017 by StallionDuck because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 15 2017 @ 09:44 AM
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a reply to: StallionDuck

It does beg the question - could some authorities themselves be behind some of these attacks? We know for a fact alphabet agencies have made money from drug trafficking, and wars for profit. Why not do this - it's even less traceable and they can make tons of money without leaving a paper trail.

I'm sure there are "hackers" in their PJs carrying out these attacks from their keyboards as well, but if they can do it why wouldn't the See Eye Ay?



This is my favorite thread right now - and there are some great ones on ATS Live right now.

My favorite part was this:




People were giving these away to each other in forums, reddit and everywhere else like stars on ATS. Basically it was just like the stars and flags here.
You threw up a naked picture of your wife... 100,000 BitCoins for you! Woot!


LMAO! I feel bad for anyone who would sink to that level, but sadly I'm sure many people would. I'm not one of them (I don't have a wife, but if I did..).

Great thread OP.



posted on May, 15 2017 @ 09:49 AM
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a reply to: StallionDuck

Let me preface my response. I work in IT for a mid-sized pharmaceutical manufacturing company. We got hit by the Zepto ransomware virus twice last year. Once because of an outside email and again because someone on the distribution list of that email archived it and then reopened it again at a later date. So I have a bit of experience dealing with this headache.

The only way to fight ransomware is to have good anti-virus protection, keep your computer up-to-date by running windows update periodically, and be careful about what you download off the internet or from your email. But if you actually get caught by ransomware then the only fix is to have a file backup. NEVER PAY THOSE PEOPLE ANY MONEY! You aren't guaranteed to get your files unlocked and you just opened yourself up to further scamming.

The first step is to isolate the infected computer from the network so it stops corrupting file shares on other servers/PCs. For the auxiliary devices, a simple file restore should do the trick. If the ransomware isn't in the OS and is just traveling through the network then you shouldn't have to rebuild the whole computer. For the infected PC, you'll need to format and restore the whole OS.

Locating a ransomware attack on your pc is rather easy. Just open up windows explorer, click on the search bar in the upper right and do a search across your drive partisans for the extension of the ransomware you are looking for. Wincry is the name of the one that hit over the weekend. It's extension is .wncry. If you are infected, a search will quickly turn up a large list of files with long 128 bit encrypted names that end with the extension .wncry.

What's really scary about this particular ransomware is that it doesn't just propagate through a network using just file shares. It exploits a backdoor that was either identified or intentionally planted into Windows XP by the NSA. So you should TOTALLY still do a .wncry search on your OS partition even if your pc isn't the infected one. Especially if you have Windows XP still installed on your pcs.

PS: Final note. My co-worker feels like this is an intentional backdoor the NSA had programmed into Windows XP to spy on European countries, Russia, and China since the exploit takes advantage of a protocol that is popular in those sections of the world. It makes sense too considering that those areas of the world the US tends to like to spy on and furthermore they are the same places that most of the computers have been infected. Coincidence? Not on ATS.
edit on 15-5-2017 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 15 2017 @ 09:52 AM
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a reply to: StallionDuck

I purchased a bunch of bitcoins years ago when they were super cheap, like around $20 a coin... I really had no clue what I purchased at the time, I still don't really know what I bought, and sadly, I can't find my bitcoins... lol



posted on May, 15 2017 @ 09:59 AM
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originally posted by: jhn7537
a reply to: StallionDuck

I purchased a bunch of bitcoins years ago when they were super cheap, like around $20 a coin... I really had no clue what I purchased at the time, I still don't really know what I bought, and sadly, I can't find my bitcoins... lol



I think that's happened to many people. I might even have some on an old hard drive from 2011. Imagine... You could buy a whole bitcoin (after they were just thrown around like air) for 5 cents. A whole bitcoin! Now it's just under 1800$ each. It blows my mind and kinda makes me cry a little inside. lol

Time to start digging up those old hard drives, right?



posted on May, 15 2017 @ 10:00 AM
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a reply to: jhn7537

Lol the fun of having an encrypted usb stick with 2000 of them on that you can't remember the password for.
Also dead laptop drives that had my mining software on..

Such fun at the beginning until greed took over and mining farms killed the buzz.



posted on May, 15 2017 @ 10:02 AM
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originally posted by: StallionDuck

originally posted by: jhn7537
a reply to: StallionDuck

I purchased a bunch of bitcoins years ago when they were super cheap, like around $20 a coin... I really had no clue what I purchased at the time, I still don't really know what I bought, and sadly, I can't find my bitcoins... lol



I think that's happened to many people. I might even have some on an old hard drive from 2011. Imagine... You could buy a whole bitcoin (after they were just thrown around like air) for 5 cents. A whole bitcoin! Now it's just under 1800$ each. It blows my mind and kinda makes me cry a little inside. lol

Time to start digging up those old hard drives, right?


Hahaha, i hear ya... Now, if i can locate them, I got some money coming my way, cause i had more than a few... my old drunk purchase years ago literally turned into gold (price)... go figure...



posted on May, 15 2017 @ 10:11 AM
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Here are a couple of threads I started a while ago that actually relate to this fiasco.

Bitcoin prices

Cyber tools and Stuxnet

They didn't get much attention as they were in RATS but worth a read..



posted on May, 15 2017 @ 10:16 AM
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Criminals and greed will screw up everything, given time.



posted on May, 15 2017 @ 10:23 AM
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a reply to: StallionDuck




Ransom-ware started with BitCoin. You want to get rid of the issue? Ban crypto currencies. At least ban it until there is a way to track destinations.


Utter nonsense.

Crypto Currencies aren't the problem.

And the very nature of the block chain allows for forensics. It's all out in the open.

I remember a few years ago. That the ransomware guys were making people go to cvs and purchase a green dot refillable credit card. So they could get paid.



posted on May, 15 2017 @ 10:26 AM
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How many undocumented bitcoins do you figure the CIA has stolen from people over the last few years?

Something stinks, but banning the currency won't make it go away. that's along the same line of thought of having a no-gun-zone to prevent shootings.



posted on May, 15 2017 @ 10:27 AM
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a reply to: UKWO1Phot
Stuxnet proves that our government can and will use computer viruses against us.
Stuxnet was a VERY powerful little weapon. It is amazing what these things can do.
This generator was destroyed using a computer virus




posted on May, 15 2017 @ 10:30 AM
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Wallet stealing software has been around since 2011.
Holding your computer to ransom has been around just as long as malware has.
If there's a way to make money people will try it, it's just the way of the world we live in.



posted on May, 15 2017 @ 10:32 AM
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a reply to: lordcomac

The guy who ran Silk Road had all his taken from him by the CIA, how much you think they're worth now?? (£20,000,000 at the time).



posted on May, 15 2017 @ 10:44 AM
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How to fix and prevent:
-Always have the latest security updates for your OS
-Always have the latest OS or supported OS's
-Don't click suspicious links, and delete suspicious emails
edit on 15-5-2017 by Kuroodo because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 15 2017 @ 10:44 AM
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originally posted by: grey580
a reply to: StallionDuck




Ransom-ware started with BitCoin. You want to get rid of the issue? Ban crypto currencies. At least ban it until there is a way to track destinations.


Utter nonsense.

Crypto Currencies aren't the problem.

And the very nature of the block chain allows for forensics. It's all out in the open.

I remember a few years ago. That the ransomware guys were making people go to cvs and purchase a green dot refillable credit card. So they could get paid.



Show how they aren't the problem. Crypto Currency is a doorway to massive money laundering in itself and not to mention how easy it is for tax evasion.

I played the crypto market too. I was all for it but I also saw the beast behind the curtain had anyone gotten smart enough to use it as a tool of destruction. Now, that time has come.



posted on May, 15 2017 @ 10:48 AM
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a reply to: StallionDuck

That's an incorrect assumption.

The IRS has gotten very good at tracking Bitcoin transactions. You can't evade taxes with BTC anymore.

But don't worry. They will catch the guys behind this.



posted on May, 15 2017 @ 10:52 AM
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a reply to: StallionDuck

I've been trying to figure out if Bitcoin is still serving it's original purpose, of being a P2P electronic currency for transactions. Instead, to me it seems like it's become a speculative investment/security. And it could keep going up, but I have a feeling it's a bloated bubble right now.

I made a thread on this a few days ago about why I'm not quite understanding Bitcoin's current performance and why I am beginning to think it is no longer serving it's original "purpose" it was created for -that it's become a speculative investment instead of a currency.

Bitcoin: A Currency? Or a Speculative Security? Hmmm...

What do you think OP?



posted on May, 15 2017 @ 11:45 AM
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a reply to: FamCore

Speculative and day trading.
It's a fun ride if you have the time and resources.
I'd estimate the real (if you can call it real) value of BTC should be around the $500 mark and will level to that when the bad press takes hold from the hacks.



posted on May, 15 2017 @ 12:03 PM
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I believe they "claimed" to have gotten 50,000 bitcoins from silk road, which were sold off last year.
In reality I'm guessing they've gotten many more.




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