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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 20th May 2016 > YOUR MONEY OR YOUR DATA

YOUR MONEY OR YOUR DATA

Ransomware viruses have been striking hospitals and schools at an epidemic level

@seungylee14

THE FIRST WAVE of emotions, victims say, is a combination of panic and powerlessness. They click and reclick on files on their desktops—agendas for the Christian camp, payroll data for hundreds of teachers or medical information for veterans—to no avail. Someone, or something, has converted the files to foreign MP3 files or an encrypted RSA format. And next to these unopenable files the victims get a ransom note in a text file or HTML file: “Help_Decrypt_Your_Files.”

“All your files are protected by a strong encryption with RSA-4096 [military-grade encryption],” reads one note shared with Newsweek by a victim. “So, there are two ways you can choose: wait for a miracle and get your price doubled, or start obtaining BITCOIN NOW!, and restore your data the easy way. If you have really valuable data, you better not waste your time.”

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About Newsweek International

Friends and rivals for most of their lives, top Conservatives David Cameron and Boris Johnson are now in open warfare over Britain’s role in the EU. by Isabel Oakeshott.