It's safe to assume that Saturday pretty much sucked for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). They were met with another fine example of how malicious programmers with nothing better to do can cause some serious headache and try to enrich themselves at the same time.
This time to the tune of 100 bitcoins (roughly $74,000 US at press time), which is the ransom being demanded by the hackers to undo the encryption locking plaguing their computer systems.
Over 2100 of the 8000 some odd systems operated by SFMTA were infected reading only:
You Hacked, ALL Data Encrypted. Contact For Key(email@example.com)ID:681 ,Enter.
Seriously? You guys want 75k for that shitty message? At least have the common courtesy to speak better English or least understandable English. Really, is that to much to ask? How the hell is anyone suppose to have a clue what to do if they can't understand a word you're saying?
Well it didn't get any better. Upon contacting the email supplied, an auto-generated response returns:
If You are Responsible in MUNI-RAILWAY ! All Your Computer’s/Server’s in MUNI-RAILWAY Domain Encrypted By AES 2048Bit! We have 2000 Decryption Key ! Send 100BTC to My Bitcoin Wallet , then We Send you Decryption key For Your All Server’s HDD!! We Only Accept Bitcoin , it’s So easy! you can use Brokers to exchange your money to BTC ASAP it’s Fast way!
Ummm. Yeah. Getting some bitcoin may be easy, but communicating with this individual might require a linguist that understands "intentional-bad-English-to-make-it-sound-like-i-don't-know-English". Grammatically perfect or not, what the hell's with the random capitalization? If you're trying to be cute, do it the old fashion way. Or at least buy a cool font. If you're making that kind of jack you can at least buy a cool font.
Like this! This is called making an
It's not exactly rocket science, but I digress.
Look folks, here's a thought ... why not backup your computers periodically instead of whining about things like this when they happen? A simple backup daily makes this entire problem an annoyance for about an hour while you restore your drive. This isn't the only thing that can happen to your drive either you know. You could drop it, it might explode, a homeless man might mistake it for a Christmas ham and head for the hills with it. It might just die for no reason, they don't last forever.
Point being, if you backup, you won't ever have this problem.
As far as SFMTA and their little glitch. My advice? Pay the damn ransom. it's by far the cheapest option here.
Don't want to? Give me a call ... but keep that bitcoin handy.