Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Word of the Day: Ransomware

I learned a new word today: Ransomeware.

A new trojan called Cryzip was recently identified by a virus tracking company. Cryzip will hold your computer files "hostage" and then then demand a $300 ransom. You can read about it here.


For virus programmers (you know who you are, and there seem to be a helluva lot of you these days) here's an idea. You guys are always trying to stand out in a crowded field, right? Always trying to build a name or a reputation for yourselves?

Here's how to do it.

Turn your genius to producing viruses that actually do some good.

For example, produce a virus that will fix a few of PC Magazine's top 50 PC peeves. I especially hate the one when I right click on a file and select "send by email," only to find that Windows has decided to name my email, and then write my email message for me. Some genius thought it would be helpful if they always named the subject of my email for me, and then always inserted, "The message is ready to be sent with the following file or link attachments" directly into the message.

If your "right click file" virus some how slipped past my anti-virus filter and andI awoke one morning to that this nuisance had somehow been fixed on my PC, guess how upset I'd be? Not very upset. I'd be grateful. I may even voluntarily file a "friend of the court" brief at your eventual trial, to tell the judge just how much I appreciated your kind work.

The best way to show up Bill Gates isn't by poking holes into his holy operating system. The best way to tweak Big Bill would be to plug his holes for him, to fix what he couldn't fix, or wasn't willing to fix.

The first virus that does good will probably get a lot of publicity. Think about it. You'll be famous, instead of infamous.

And don't forget to send me the "right click file" virus.

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