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Not even the FBI knows how to combat ransomware

Ransomware, for those of you who aren’t familiar, is a popular way for hackers to extort money from Internet users by encrypting important information on their computer and demanding that they pay a ransom in order to have those files decrypted. There’s no point in contacting the authorities either, as even the FBI has admitted that it can’t decrypt the files, and usually just advises victims to either pay the ransom or learn to live without those important files. 

Over the last few years ransomware has become a prominent way for hackers to extort money from victims. Ransomware such as Cryptolocker encrypts a victims computer and demands a payment to decrypt the files. What’s surprising is how the FBI deals with victims of ransomware attacks. Last week at the Cyber Security Summit 2015 event, Joseph Bonavolonta, the Assistant Special Agent in charge of the FBI’s CYBER and Counterintelligence Program at the FBI’s Boston office revealed that the FBI can’t really do a lot about the problem. Ransomware programs such as Cryptolocker and Cryptowall appear to have gotten the better of the FBI, “To be honest, we often advise people just to pay the ransom.” revealed Bonavolonta “The ransomware is that good”. In June this year, the FBI issued a Public Service Announcement (PSA) which echoed Bonavolonta’s message regarding ransomware. “These financial fraud schemes target both individuals and businesses, are usually very successful, and have a significant impact on victims.”

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