Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Email Provider Disables Ransomware Mailbox - Good or Bad?

Here's a headline that will likely make you cheer.
Or it'll make your heart sink as you realize your files are now gone. Forever

Or maybe it'll get you thinking like it did for me...
Email Provider Shuts Down Petya Inbox Preventing Victims From Recovering Files
I read this line and started thinking ... oh my God ... what are some of the victims going to do?!
"The German email provider's decision is catastrophic news for Petya victims, as they won't be able to email the Petya author in the case they want to pay the ransom to recover sensitive files needed for urgent matters."

While I believe Posteo had good intentions, I believe the net result will be a bad situation made significantly worse. In a ransomware scenario you have three options:

  • Pay up (hope you get your stuff back)
  • Ignore it and restore from back up (and hope your stuff is backed up)
  • Hope like hell someone cracks the encryption/software/attacker in time to get your files back without having to pay (hey, it's happened before)
The problem is if you're a Petya victim option #1 is no longer open to you. There are several scenarios where a victim could have no choice but to pay up, like when backups aren't available (or they haven't planned that far ahead). Now, a few friends on Twitter made a valid argument for what Posteo did - including that they wanted to stop funding an attacker and ultimately had a criminal on their hands they wanted to shut down. All well and good - but think of the impact.

While I don't think it hurts the email provider to continue to keep the mailbox open, closing it down is catastrophic. It's irresponsible. And maybe even a little mean-spirited. Unless you're willing to argue that you've never been a victim, or that you "deserved what you got" (which is a BS argument) this action by Posteo is insane.

On the other side of this coin, there are very good reasons to keep the mailbox open. For example it could provide some insight into the attacker/criminal. Maybe the attacker accidentally accesses the inbox from their home cable modem and investigators can track them down that way. You never know. There's the obvious reason that people should get their files back if they have no other alternative but to pay and we know that is the case in many, many, many cases.

What do you think? I think what Posteo did was rash and maybe a little stupid. Clearly they're not thinking about the victims here - and that's irresponsible.


-- Edit 27-June-17 @ 11:46pm

So this is interesting and helps understand the scope of what's affected and who is impacted. Still think it was a bright idea to kill that mailbox?
https://www.buzzfeed.com/otilliasteadman/heres-just-who-got-hit-by-that-latest-massive-cyberattack

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Who falls for this?

Sometimes a spammer hits my inbox with something so amusing I feel like I have to share. Check this one out. I can't tell you the last time I received something with such bad grammar, trying so hard to sound official yet catastrophically failing.

Anyway, I think you'll enjoy this one as much as I did.

/---------------------
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Anti-Terrorist And Monitory Crime Division.
Federal Bureau Of Investigation.
J.Edgar.Hoover Building Washington Dc
Customers Service Hours / Monday To Saturday
Office Hours Monday To Saturday:
 
Dear Beneficiary,
 
Series of meetings have been held over the past 7 months with the secretary general of the United Nations Organization. This ended 3 days ago. It is obvious that you
 
have not received your fund which is to the tune of $16.5million due to past corrupt Governmental Officials who almost held the fund to themselves for their selfish
 
reason and some individuals who have taken advantage of your fund all in an attempt to swindle your fund which has led to so many losses from your end and unnecessary
 
delay in the receipt of your fund.for more information do get back to us.
 
The National Central Bureau of Interpol enhanced by the United Nations and Federal Bureau of Investigation have successfully passed a mandate to the current Prime
 
Minister of Cambodia Excellency Hun Sen to boost the exercise of clearing all foreign debts owed to you and other individuals and organizations who have been found not
 
to have receive their Contract Sum, Lottery/Gambling, Inheritance and the likes. Now how would you like to receive your payment? because we have two method of  payment
 
which is by Check or by ATM card?
 
ATM Card: We will be issuing you a custom pin based ATM card which you will use to withdraw up to $5,000 per day from any ATM machine that has the Master Card Logo on
 
it and the card have to be renewed in 4 years time which is 2022. Also with the ATM card you will be able to transfer your funds to your local bank account. The ATM
 
card comes with a handbook or manual to enlighten you about how to use it. Even if you do not have a bank account.
Check: To be deposited in your bank for it to be cleared within three working days. Your payment would be sent to you via any of your preferred option and would be
 
mailed to you via FedEx. Because we have signed a contract with FedEx which should expire 25th of June 2017 you will only need to pay $180 instead of $420 saving
 
you $240 so if you
Pay before the one week you save $240 note that any one asking you for some kind of money above the usual fee is definitely a fraudsters and you will have to stop
 
communication with every other person if you have been in contact with any. Also remember that all you will ever have to spend is $180.00 nothing more! Nothing less!
 
And we guarantee the receipt of your fund to be successfully delivered to you within the next 24hrs after the receipt of payment has been confirmed.
 
Note: Everything has been taken care of by the Government of Cambodia,The United Nation and also the FBI and including taxes, custom paper and clearance duty so all
 
you will ever need to pay is $180.
DO NOT SEND MONEY TO ANYONE UNTIL YOU READ THIS: The actual fees for shipping your ATM card is $420 but because FedEx have temporarily discontinued the C.O.D which
 
gives you the chance to pay when package is delivered for international shipping We had to sign contract with them for bulk shipping which makes the fees reduce from
 
the actual fee of $420 to $180 nothing more and no hidden fees of any sort!To effect the release of your fund valued at $16.5million you are advised to contact our
 
correspondent in Asia the delivery officer Miss.Chi Liko with the information below,
 
 
Tele:+855977558948
Email: chiliko7@e-mail.ua
 
You are adviced to contact her with the informations as stated below:
Your full Name..
Your Address:..............
Home/Cell Phone:..............
Preferred Payment Method ( ATM / Cashier Check )
 
 
Upon receipt of payment the delivery officer will ensure that your package is sent within 24 working hours. Because we are so sure of everything we are giving you a
 
100% money back guarantee if you do not receive payment/package within the next 24hrs after you have made the payment for shipping.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Miss Donna Story
 
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20535
---------------------\
Google+