hackers forever? Robin Hood and “Goodwill ransomware”

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Who’s up for a bet? Place your bets, boys and girls. How many (cinema) versions of Robin Hood are there?

Poll says 18.

That’s quite a lot; Usually only three come to mind: Men in Tights, the one with Hans Gruber as the sheriff (villain in Die Hard) and then (of course) the animated one from my childhood.

I’m sure many of you remember the 1970’s Sean Connery like one, but that’s before my time (just barely) and the classic from 1938 with Errol Flynn some of you might like it too, but let’s face it, this movie is a nightcap by comparison Mel Brooks‘ Execution.

One thing stays the same across all versions of Robin and his jolly men (Why were they so happy anyway? No showers, no Netflix.) – their mission was to rob the rich and give to the poor.

In the world of cybercrime, this year we have seen the emergence of some Robin Hood crimes among a certain group of hackers and what they are up to in Florida and across the nation.

It’s called “Goodwill ransomware”.

As I discussed in a column last month about the ransomware-hit government of Costa Rica; The typical ransomware attack targets a company, an individual, or a government. It is usually a fake email that embeds a link that, if clicked, freezes all files on that computer and all computers connected to it.

Next, a payment request (ransom); In turn, when paid, the hackers provide the encryption keys to unlock your files.

It’s fair to say that most of us have heard of this scenario by now, but the Goodwill Attack is quite different. You still have a fake email or malicious website that exposes you or your business to an encryption attack – but then something pretty bizarre happens after you click on it and things get encrypted.

These hackers don’t ask for cryptocurrency to get your files back; instead her ask you to do something good for the world? eh?

Hackers behind this attack literally want to send you on a scavenger hunt for good activity (document it digitally) before restoring access to your files.

After infection, the first thing you see on the screen are hackers who call themselves not hungry money and wealth, but they want to help the poor and needy.

Your first task – if you choose to engage with them – is to donate new clothes and blankets to the homeless.

After that, you need to take underprivileged kids to Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC.

(Fun side story. My old office in Atlanta had a building with all (3) of these facilities – we called it the Triple Threat. You could get a piece, a chicken thigh, and a taco at the same time. Yum.) Moving on: The next mission up Their ransomware quest consists of visiting a hospital and bringing joy (and donations) to the people who got into trouble there.

While the sentiment behind it is touching and our world could use a massive influx of kindness, it’s not the way to go.

Avoid cybercrime at all costs as networks may be offline for long periods of time.

Always keep redundant cloud and on-premises backup of your systems (not just files) ready to deploy so you can restore from backup instead of paying ransom.

Also, use two-factor authentication on all computers. Force your team to undergo email phishing simulations and cyber training to ensure they are prepared, and invest in advanced cyber protection.

It shouldn’t take hackers blackmailing us to send out kindness, so here are some local Florida organizations we all know need our help: Refuge House serving the Big Bend area of ​​North Florida, Big Brothers Big Sisters of The Big Bend – youth mentoring, Second Harvest of Big Bend, Goodwill Industries — Big Bend, Inc. and Big Bend Habitat for Humanity.

Our friends at The Jerusalem Post say that these hackers are most likely based in India as the email and IP address trail leads there.

But let’s be clear here, there was just a Robin Hood walking across Britain in the 13th century and these people are not him.

Be safe out there Florida.

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Blake Dowling is CEO of and leads Aegis Business Technologies Short film celebrating the company’s 25th anniversary in Florida. Cheers to it!

No animals were harmed (just annoyed) during the filming of this project.

The star of our 25th Aegis video, Pete, is now on Instagram @PeterTheDestroyer.


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