back to article Oh-so-generous ransomware crooks vow to hold back from health organisations during COVID-19 crisis

Ransomware operators of DoppelPaymer and Maze malware stated that they will not target medical organisations during the current pandemic. Laurence Abrams, who runs the security news site Bleeping Computer, reports that he made contact with "the operators of the Maze, DoppelPaymer, Ryuk, Sodinokibi/REvil, PwndLocker, and Ako …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Look at the super markets.

    For proof of people doing the right thing?

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: Look at the super markets.

      Well, that one is arguable actually.

      Government: If you get infected you have to stay at home for 2 weeks. Do not leave your home.

      Supermarkets: Btw; we can't do home deliveries to everybody; we don't have capacity.

      One can't be too surprised that most of the population are busily trying to lay in 2 weeks worth of food at home; they've been told to do it!

      If people were told that they could register as self isolating and the number of people at the address and they'd have care boxes delivered twice a week with food etc then you wouldn't have any panic buying, would you?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Look at the super markets.

        Meanwhile in San Jose, CA, police told a local store owner that he had to obey the rules and close, despite the line of people waiting outside.

        It seems that guns aren't considered essential supplies...

      3. Hubert Cumberdale
        Alert

        Re: Look at the super markets.

        It is arguable. Over the last three weeks or so, I've been gradually getting more than usual, because I wondered if things were heading this way. None of it has been "panic buying"; I'm calmly stockpiling. I don't have a car, so can't get masses at a time. And no, I haven't bought unnecessarily large quantities of toilet paper. I have a supply for perhaps three weeks, which isn't very much in my case. Reasons I've been slowly stockpiling:

        1. I live alone, and don't have many friends in my local area, so if I have to isolate myself, things could get difficult in terms of being able to eat. Besides, the people I do know around here may also end up in isolation.

        2. If the country goes into lockdown – and despite recent denials, things are moving very fast and I fully expect it to happen at some point – then I don't trust the government to be able to get themselves together enough to keep food deliveries on track. They have shown little competence so far.

        3. This is going to get worse before it gets better, so I'd rather buy now when there are not quite so many potentially infected people about than take a greater risk while shopping when the infection rate is much higher.

        In summary, slow and calm stockpiling is, to me, very logical. I like to think that I've been doing it in as spaced-out and responsible a way as possible. I'll be interested to see my balance of upvotes and downvotes on this one.

        1. gerdesj Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: Look at the super markets.

          "And no, I haven't bought unnecessarily large quantities of toilet paper. I have a supply for perhaps three weeks"

          Right, given your language you are probably right pondian. That means you are allowed three sheets of bog paper per day and not the 19+ that a left pondian needs (they probably have bigger arses or something). So, three weeks at three sheets is 7 x 3 x 3 = 63 sheets.

          A bog roll has roughly 200+ sheets (that is the absolute minimum).

          OK so lets allow 20 sheets per day => 20 x 7 x 3 = 420 sheets. 420 sheets => three rolls. Obviously more than one person will consume bog roll faster.

          A standard pack of 15 or so rolls will do you for quite a while.

          1. Aussie Doc Bronze badge
            Pint

            Re: Look at the super markets.

            That's some rather precise data there.

            Well done.

          2. Hubert Cumberdale

            Re: Look at the super markets.

            Your deduction of my pondedness is quite correct. I have to confess though, that even so, I probably still need slightly more than three sheets a day. On a tangential note, something I've been pondering from your post is the size of toilet roll packs. It seems they mostly (at least on my pond side) come in multiples of three (6, 9, 12, 18, 24), but occasionally of four (4, 8, 12, 16, 24), with the obvious common factor overlaps. But just why don't I ever see 15s? They could be packed fairly neatly in three rows of five. Is it just a question of aspect ratio? I thought we'd generally moved on from 4:3 to 16:9 (or occasionally 16:10) these days. A 5:3 ratio is only about 4% different from 16:10. So where's my widescreen TP?

      4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Look at the super markets.

        "Government: If you get infected you have to stay at home for 2 weeks. Do not leave your home."

        Yes, it's not as if BoJo the clown has a habit of advocating something without giving any thought to the practicalities of implementing it.

        1. Claverhouse Silver badge

          Re: Look at the super markets.

          I think it's allowable to send one's people out to procure necessities.

          Just make sure they wash their hands frequently: this is the sovereign specific against catching Covid-19.

        2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Look at the super markets.

          Yes, it's not as if BoJo the clown has a habit of advocating something without giving any thought to the practicalities of implementing it.

          Actually, Boris is well practised in "Self-Isolating", and in this case, is speaking as an expert

          https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/27/boris-johnson-mop-no-10-media-public

      5. Annihilator Silver badge

        Re: Look at the super markets.

        "One can't be too surprised that most of the population are busily trying to lay in 2 weeks worth of food at home; they've been told to do it!"

        It's worse than that. The extra week's worth of supplies represents a double of demand on the supermarkets on paper - their supply chains just aren't geared up for that, hence the shelves being empty. My favourite comments have been along the lines of "bl00dy panic buyers! I'm just buying an extra packet of pasta and paracetamol" - well quite, and if everyone is doing that, shelves will be empty in no time.

        On top of this, it's estimated 1/3 of the UK consumption of meals come from restaurants, cafes, takeaways, pubs etc. We've been recommended to avoid this. So that's a 50% increase in home food supplies that come from.. the supermarkets.

        Then we add in all the people working from home and now the schools closing. That increases the levels of food and sundries required in the household. It's probably fair to say that around 30% of (say) bog roll usage occurs at work or school - so that's another 50% increase of required in the house.

        And that's without the people who are gearing up to self-isolate for 12 weeks and don't necessarily have the support network in place to have people do shopping for them.

        The measures in place have, at best guess, led to a tripling of shopping demands by consumers.

        1. LeahroyNake Silver badge

          Re: Look at the super markets.

          My partner found a local catering supplier had a lot of extra stock that they obviously couldn't shift to their usual restaurants etc. They put it on Facebook (suppose it is useful for something) that they were now open to retail and not just trade customers. The pack sizes though haha we have 36 eggs and enough jacket potatoes for 6 months, I'm delivering them to family and next door neighbours etc for free as the local shops are out of stock.

          1. Annihilator Silver badge

            Re: Look at the super markets.

            Good for you. (I feel I have to emphasise, no sarcasm here)

            That's a really good point, and goes some way to emphasising mine - there aren't any overall shortages, the supply distribution is just in the wrong place and will take some time to rebalance.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Look at the super markets.

      Yes, the next time I see some selfish arse filling their trolley to the brim with toilet paper, I'm going to be extremely tempted to give them a hand getting a few more rolls out of the store - by shoving a 4 pack right up their feckin' jacksie...

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Look at the super markets.

        Now that I think is totally absurd. How much toilet paper does a person actually need for two weeks? Especially since this doesn't cause diarrhoea.

        I would imagine that most of the people mass buying the stuff are probably doing the same as that American bloke and trying to create shortages so that they can resell it themselves at a higher price. And that did ought to be cracked down on harshly.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: Look at the super markets.

          I don't think that most people are that cunning.

        2. msknight

          Re: Look at the super markets.

          The whole thing is utterly bonkers. People are doing shopping for the older generation, who have been told to isolate for months... and because of comminuty drives to help their neighbours, people are getting more than a weekly shop for their own family, as they are now shopping for vulnerable members of their own communities as well.

          Net result, no one knows how much who is buying, for whom.

          Whenever our village gets cut off from the water supply, the water companies helpfully drop off a pallet of bottled water on the common. So people grab what they can... but some people are being greedy gits and others grab a six pack or two, and distribute them among the neighbours, some of whom can't get out of their homes and would otherwise go without.... but at the point of walking up and grabbing a couple of packs... no one knows the intentions of any particular individual. Either way... all the bottles are gone in minutes.

          What's lacking is a form of emergency distribution protocol in a world where everyone automatically thinks the worse of everybody else. But who wants to actually take on that responsibility?

          Perhaps we should go back to ration books?

          1. Peter2 Silver badge

            Re: Look at the super markets.

            If this does go on, ration books might actually be required just to prevent people from over ordering.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: ration books might actually be required j

              ... and perhaps we could print the ration coupons therein on toilet paper :-)

            2. LucreLout Silver badge

              Re: Look at the super markets.

              If this does go on, ration books might actually be required just to prevent people from over ordering.

              Price escalation works far better. 1 x unit price for the first unit, 100 x unit price for the second unit and just keep doubling down from there.

              1. doublelayer Silver badge

                Re: Look at the super markets.

                No, it doesn't. There are only three ways to try doing that.

                Buying multiple items incurs a charge for any after the first: If you have a large group you're shopping for, I.E. you are isolating with your family, you can buy the same amount as I can, and I live alone. Either I am able to buy too much or you aren't able to buy enough. You can buy extras by going around to different stores and buying one item from each. If your stores aren't particularly vigilant, you could just go outside, load your purchases into your car, then go back inside and buy some more.

                Allow prices to increase as supplies decrease: This prevents those without resources from buying what they need. I don't think you suggested this, but I'm including it here for completeness.

                Use some limited quantity likely to scale with people, such as payment methods or verifiable phone numbers, to limit how much you can buy before the price goes up: This solves the problem of buying for a family, maybe, if some of them have credit cards or mobiles, but it could cause problems for young children who have neither. The main problem though is that there would be so much chaos getting that system working across stores that you'd long for the previous system because, at least then, you could buy something if it was there. Also, this approach is essentially the same as a ration book, just with a different format of coupons.

                One final proviso, even assuming we have a perfectly functional version of this, it doesn't stop me buying one of every item in the shop. I can only get one dried lasagna? Then I'll also pick up one of every other pasta on the shelves. I can only get one pasta? Then I'll buy one item off every shelf.

        3. MrDamage

          Re: Look at the super markets.

          From what I've read, Australia is either talking about, or enacting, the anti-profiteering legislation normally reserved for times of conflict.

      2. BebopWeBop Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Look at the super markets.

        Time to get appropriately medieval on their arse

      3. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: Look at the super markets.

        There's no need to be so violent. Just follow them back to their car and key it.

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Look at the super markets.

          Just follow them back to their car and key it.

          There is never any need for this; it is always the hallmark of a c*nt.

          Even if you "feel" justified in doing it, you don't know that they've not borrowed someones car.

      4. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: Look at the super markets.

        Yes, the next time I see some selfish arse filling their trolley to the brim with toilet paper, I'm going to be extremely tempted to give them a hand getting a few more rolls out of the store - by shoving a 4 pack right up their feckin' jacksie...

        Yeah, my mrs just returned with a wholesale pack of bog roll (5x9 rolls - you literally can't buy individual 9 packs). Thing is, it ain't for us - one pack of 9 for each neighbour and the other 2 for colleagues at work who have ran out (she's a "ley worker" in this brave new world). We have one pack.

        Most that are stockpiling are panic buying hoarders, but just remember it isn't everyone you see.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Look at the super markets.

      Here's a first hand account and observations of a supermarket in the north of England. Not a well off area either, I'm temping there because getting an office job in this climate is nearly impossible and I could do with the money.

      1. Items limited to 3 of any item, 2 for milk. People just go out and come back in or use the self service checkouts.

      2. Currently over 20 people absent from work and some in self-isolation. No deep clean here.

      3. No hand sanitisers or gloves though these are supposed to be on the way. Why they would have people using gloves is beyond me considering they are worse bacteria magnets than hands. You'll wash your hands often but you won't wash the gloves or change them all the time.

      4. Stock is flying out quicker than it can put on the shelf however there isn't much to be put on the shelf. Don't believe stories regarding stock in the back, it exists but you won't need it.

      5. Bread was completely empty today, a first. Toilet roll, milk, pasta, sugar, tinned beans, tinned tomatoes, eggs and rice constantly out until there is a delivery and then it doesn't last past 9/10 am.

      6. Sales for group 66 million over plan for the week and that was yesterday.

      7. People will buy literally anything and everything. All the tomato puree is gone. The freezers are also nearly empty. Dogs and cats will also be fine during the outbreak unless people have other uses for their food.

      8. Beer sales at all time high and working where the tonic water is (running out) it seems many people are resorting to gin and tonics. Chin chin (Fun fact: The word 'chin' means Penis in Japanese).

      9. There is no hygiene to speak of so if someone has been in with it then chances are you'll catch it if you aren't careful with your own hygiene.

      10. It sickening having to tell older people we don't have something when it probably their only shop of the week, the people panic buying should hang their fucking heads in shame.

      11. If you have something everyone wants and are walking through the store you will get asked for it off someone claiming to be more needy or need it for relatives. 75% of these people are chancers, you can tell when someone is bullshitting.

      12. I did some temping over Christmas as well and that ain't got shit on this.

      13. People are fucking stupid, even if we get a lock down you will still be able to come and get groceries.

      At the end of the day I can understand this but not condone it, the government are doing a proper piss poor job. First leaving schools open then shutting them. Telling over 75's to self-isolate for 12 WEEKS! What did they honestly think would happen? Nearly everywhere else is on lock down and it's inevitable it's going to happen here, if I were a betting person I would guess London (who they keep telling us are weeks ahead) being done first while the rest of us get ill and potentially die supplying it with food and shit. Mayor announcements will usually happen on Fridays just before the stock markets closes for the weekend.

      Not much else to say about it all really but that's what's happening and talking to people from other supermarkets and visiting them myself I've seen it happening elsewhere first hand too. It's only a matter of time before the virus knocks out a couple of distribution centres then there won't be anything for anyone to buy because everyone was stupid at the start.

    4. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Look at the super markets.

      It's not just the supermarkets.

      The internet has mostly sold out of MRE rations, and in all my years of life, I've NEVER seen a squaddie eating those once they've demobbed.

      People are planning ahead - try buying a baseball bat online, or a hunting knife. Things you might use to defend your home are selling out quickly alongside the sanitiser, bog roll, and food.

      Once the food runs out, anarchy follows by night time, so having a TP fort and enough rice to feed China is only going to make households a target. Peckham will be coming to Hampstead to eat.

      The virus death toll is about to soar, I think we all know that, and I think we all wish it weren't so. That said, the fear will spike when people begin dropping like flies, especially when they start to get hungry. Rationale will go straight out of the window, which is why the military are being prepared.

      There's nothing in-between bobbies with sticks and soldiers with live rounds, because once again the left did not learn anything from the last spell of social disorder - we have no water cannon, no baton rounds, no tear gas, and so we will have to progress quickly to live rounds. It's going to suck.

      "Society" is a very thin vaneer on an awful lot of bullshit, and that vaneer is cracking by the day.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Look at the super markets.

        People are stocking two weeks worth of food at home to outlast having to self isolate. People having weeks worth of food at home and starving are inherently incompatible. Get a grip, watch less bad TV dramas and quit trying to spread panic.

        If you've ever gone around door to door across a few thousand houses for something like the poppy appeal you'l meet such a wide range of decent people that you'll quickly realise that some peoples fantasies of civilisation collapsing and roving bands of idiots raiding houses for their stocks of food are pretty much zero.

        The military civil contingencies directorate is being doubled in size, from 10k to 20k. This is to allow the military to (in extremis) deploy military logistics trucks to increase the flow of food from distribution centers to supermarkets, to reduce bottlenecks etc.

        Your not going to see squaddies in CBRN kit filling in people that piss them off if for not other reason but the British army is smaller than the London police force and wouldn't have the manpower.

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Look at the super markets.

          People having weeks worth of food at home and starving are inherently incompatible.

          Only if the food is evenly distributed. It isn't.

          you'll quickly realise that some peoples fantasies of civilisation collapsing and roving bands of idiots raiding houses for their stocks of food are pretty much zero

          Spoken like a man who's never lived in an estate where rioting and looting are happening. I've lived on 2 during riots (20ish years apart - Meadow Well & Croydon) and its absolutely no fun at all. Sometimes you can even see the police from your window, its just that they can't reach you to help you.

          The thing with rioting is that once it starts, it spreads. It spreads quickly and it gets hard to contain. More people join in each day either for fun or because they want to air their grievances too. The level of violence escalates at an exponential level until quite sickening levels of violence become almost casual.

          It's difficult to self isolate if your house is on fire or if your food got stolen.

          ...the British army is smaller than the London police force and wouldn't have the manpower.

          It takes a lot fewer soldiers to prevent disorder than it does police. Put another way, after 9/11 it wasn't New York's Finest that were deployed at intersections in Manhattan, it was visibly heavily armed troops.

          I'm not trying to spread panic to use your words, but to plan to simply rely on the kindness of others over the next few weeks is insane. Totally insane.

          We're helping as many people as we can find the things they need locally, but in all honesty my ability to bring food and bog roll for neighbors is disappearing fast as I simply can't find any either for now. I have idea what their plan b is, but I've probably got enough stuff in our normally fairly full cupboards to feed my kids for a couple of weeks, and once supplies run out in the wholesalers/supermarkets, I'm prioritizing feeding my kids.

          There's a massive underclass in society that can't control their base impulses, which is why something like 1/3rd of men have a criminal conviction. 1 in 3. And that's before they got hungry, before they got scared. It isn't "if", it's "when".

          We had riots in 2011 because a drug dealing gangster got shot. He'd never even been to half the cities that started rioting; nobody there knew him. And you think this time it's going to be different? I'd love you to be right, I really would. You're not, and I think deep down you know it too.

          1. Peter2 Silver badge

            Re: Look at the super markets.

            Personally, I think some people are spending way, wayyyy to much time playing disaster/ survival games and want their little virtual world to become a reality because they are level whatever in it, and a big player in that virtual world. Then IRL they aren't a big shaker and mover, and are basically fantasizing about the real world becoming their game where they will be huge. Except of course, they won't be because clicking buttons on a screen doesn't actually give you any useful skills.

            Food chains are perfectly secure and are just having some trouble delivering 4x the amount of normal food. If they end up either limiting the amounts that people can buy, or telling people that if they self isolate the government will deliver food packages then the food problem ends overnight.

            The problem also goes away as soon as people are happy with the size of their stockpiles so it's a moot point.

            If people are self isolating at home and avoiding any contact with people who might be infected, they aren't going to be inclined to participate in mass riots since by definition that requires people to group together with people who may be infected.

            Now come on, get yet more hysterical. You know you can do it. ;)

            Alternately:

            - - - ♔ - - -

            Keep Calm

            . . and . .

            Carry On

            1. LucreLout Silver badge

              Re: Look at the super markets.

              Personally, I think some people are spending way, wayyyy to much time playing disaster/ survival games and want their little virtual world to become a reality because they are level whatever in it, and a big player in that virtual world. Then IRL they aren't a big shaker and mover, and are basically fantasizing about the real world becoming their game where they will be huge.

              ROFL. Yeah, the problem with that is that I'm a much bigger "shaker and mover" in the real world than I ever was in any virtual one. I'm doing well financially (very well 4 weeks ago), my career has taken me further than I ever dreamed it would (and I still have 20 years to work), I have a happy home life, and despite the fact that I'm more capable in a fight than many, I'm no where near good enough to survive a post-apocalyptic world; I'd be the guy that gets killed in the opening credits.

              None of that, however, makes what is happening out there any less real. People are literally fighting over toilet paper when there's plenty of viable alternatives and near infinite stock of it anyway. That's before they get hungry. Before they lose their parents to the virus. Before they lose their job to the recession. Before they're locked up in their homes all summer, watching other parts of the world moving on without them.

              As much as I'd love the world to be a peaceful, rational place, it isn't. It never was.

              Except of course, they won't be because clicking buttons on a screen doesn't actually give you any useful skills.

              And yet we're in a world where e-sports is the only sports, and where the players earn millions. Whodathunkit?

              Food chains are perfectly secure

              Maybe they are, maybe they aren't, but you're confusing what is with what is perceived to be. The latter is what starts riots, not the former. The fact is that no armed policeman wants to shoot anyone, even a drug dealing scrote. The perception that this was not true is what triggered the rioting, which then became self sustaining. Facts, and perception.

              If they end up either limiting the amounts that people can buy, or telling people that if they self isolate the government will deliver food packages then the food problem ends overnight.

              That trigger gets abated every time the food arrives, sure, but it only needs one missed delivery.... There's going to be other triggers too. A lot of other triggers. People don't like being locked up in their homes, especially the young. People won't like not earning any money and having to claim welfare. People who have always worked will want an opportunity to do so. They won't get those things until the restrictions end, and will start to push back on them - that is the reason why we didn't lock everything down weeks ago.

              If people are self isolating at home and avoiding any contact with people who might be infected, they aren't going to be inclined to participate in mass riots since by definition that requires people to group together with people who may be infected.

              Which is fine as long as there isn't a group prone to rash decisions who feel like they have effective immunity to the virus and will most resent the lock down. Oh, wait..... there is. They're called "millennial's".

              Even a cursory look at St Patricks day up and down the land would reveal that they're not doing the lock down voluntarily. They'll probably not do it by diktat either. The pressure builds, a trigger gets pulled (real or metaphorical) and the whole thing explodes.

              Alternately:

              - - - ♔ - - -

              Keep Calm

              . . and . .

              Carry On

              Always a good idea, but then so are safe sex and seat belts..... Not always what people do though, is it?

              You're in for a very rude awakening this summer because you haven't got a clue. When reality comes and bites you on the arse, it'll be no good having a moan on the groan, and braying on about the unfairness of it all.

              Keeping calm doesn't mean don't prepare. Carrying on doesn't involve sticking your head up your ass in the absence of enough sand to put it in.

              25% of the countries in the world had civil unrest last year. This years pre-virus prediction was for 40% to have unrest. Surely the bubble you seem to live in isn't so opaque that you can't see the odds have risen a tad lately?

              https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/16/40percent-of-countries-will-witness-civil-unrest-in-2020-report-claims.html

              You're confusing what people want and what reality is. We want the same clam and carry on life that we had last year - I want it and you want it. The only difference is that I can see we ain't gonna get it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Look at the super markets.

        It's not going to be long with limited food supplies, isolation, no entertainment and jobs vanishing, before we get civil disorder of a scale which will make the 2011 riots look like a minor scuffle.

        1. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: Look at the super markets.

          You can have either home isolation or riots. They are by definition mutually exclusive; pick one.

          Incidentally, have you seen the news reports saying that people are trying to spread disinformation about Covid19 to spread panic?

          https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/18/europe/eu-kremlin-disinformation-coronavirus-intl/index.html

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Look at the super markets.

            Incidentally, have you seen the news reports saying that people are trying to spread disinformation about Covid19 to spread panic?

            Have to keep telling my wife to not rely on Faceborg for information. FB has evolved from just blitz-postings of unfounded rumors to full-out disinformation campaigns. I just watch the postings on the state and county Health Department sites (and merely add some factor of things they haven't told us yet). It'll be somewhat worse than they're telling us, but not to Farcebook levels.

          2. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: Look at the super markets.

            You can have either home isolation or riots. They are by definition mutually exclusive; pick one.

            At this point you must be trolling? Nobody can be so incapable of logical thought as to have failed to grasp that you have home isolation THEN riots. Self evidently the isolation ends when the riot begins.

          3. crayon

            Re: Look at the super markets.

            "Incidentally, have you seen the news reports saying that people are trying to spread disinformation about Covid19 to spread panic?"

            Sounds more like a report to spread disinformation about Russian disinformation.

            "It adds that Russian state media network RT Spanish is the 12th most popular source across Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR) and Reddit when it comes to the coronavirus."

            Does it says who are the the top 5? My guess is that the top 3 or 5 sources accounts for the vast majority of the requests for coronavirus information, the rest of the sources are insignificant.

  2. tin 2

    This is not because banks are not targeted; it is because they have better security."

    ..or they are liars..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Proably the latter

      Lawyers are all liars. Banks employ LOTS of lawyers to make sure the bankers get away with the sneaky & cruel stuff and the house always wins. That's close enough for me -- they're lying liars too.

    2. Peter2 Silver badge

      It's probably actually because their systems are so outdated that they are using paranoia induced security precautions to prevent any problems.

      Personally, I simply prevent my users from opening any form of unauthorised executable code, which reduces the number of possible infections down to zero unless I screw up and authorise a virus.

      1. KjetilS

        So no PDF or Word documents, anything containing JavaScript (like web pages), or quite a long list of other common ways of transferring information then?

        1. Peter2 Silver badge

          PDF's and Word documents aren't executable files. I do however have scripting, file downloads and macro's disabled in both. (it's an option in the GPO's that Adobe and Microsoft both supply free of charge)

          And having done that, those infection vectors are closed off to most exploit classes without the end user noticing or being inconvenienced.

  3. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    So you get infected with ransomware, call up the friendly crooks and they fix the problem for you? And in the process they get a copy of all your data ...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I doubt that these scum have decided to be less scummy just because it's nice. They've probably worked out that if they take out a hospital at the moment they'll trigger an anti-terrorist response that will make the Al Qaeda hunt look tame. It might just stop short of a drone strike (if they're in the US) but they'll probably never see the light of day again.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That and you don't pee in your own... pants? I forgot where I was going with this. But you don't steal the wings off the aircraft your flying in, you steal everything else, then once landed, steal the wings.

  5. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    An Invisible Friend Intangible to Foe is a Practically Almighty and Virtually Invincible Partner

    We are Experiencing an Experimental Delivery System via such Portals as Present a Corona Virus Emergency for Global News Insertion, an ACTive Existential Threat to Current Present Supremacies in New World Order Operating Systems.

    Imagine such is just there as a glitch, and when so easily fixed, future ignored and recorded for posterity paid the bounty that is Danegeld. That's how Time and Space Changes are Given Extra Time in the Changed Places .......... where Grand Palaces and Great Castles are Found to Reveal and Revel in Right Heavenly Regaled Delights.

    Quite what Status Quo Sources and Forces do and present to you during that extra time is a colossus of a leading question to have positive encouraging answers to. One can only Hope they Simply Do Good for that would be certainly better than most anything lesser before.

    However, ....... YMMV and your Pictures may be Somewhat Different if Your Intelligence is Tapped and Capped rather than Extended and Expanded and Exploited to Blissful Exhaustion which is but One Root/Route/Reality to Explore ...... and in the Daring Service Sharing Almighty Care to Excess is there the Awesome Profit that is Bounty Flowing Freely :-) There surely be Umpteen Others Readily Available for Presentation ‽ .

    Or is that too fanciful?

    Is the Big Secret to Realise there is Only the One as is Pictured and Provided by SMARTR Media in Advanced IntelAIgent News Networks with Alternate Sources Fielding and Flouncing Superior Forces ‽ .

    Are free public shows of such a Strong Strange Force Desired or is One Best Servered First with their Acquisition ‽ . ....... Lend-Leasing ‽

    1. OssianScotland Silver badge

      Re: An Invisible Friend Intangible to Foe is a Practically Almighty and Virtually Invincible Partner

      Nurse! .... NURSE! ..... Nurse? If you're not too busy?

  6. BGatez Bronze badge

    Better grasp of optics than US Gov

  7. Warm Braw Silver badge

    The ransomware crews are missing out

    The low-hanging fruit is already being picked off if my inbox is any guide:

    We are all affected by the growing COVID-19 pandemic. It's an unprecedented health challenge and we know people and organizations everywhere want to help. The World Health Organization is leading and coordinating the global effort, supporting countries to prevent, detect, and respond to the pandemic.

    The greatest need right now is to help ensure all countries are prepared, especially those with the weakest health systems. Donations support WHO’s work to track and understand the spread of the virus; to ensure patients get the care they need and frontline workers get essential supplies and information; and to accelerate efforts to develop vaccines, tests, and treatments.

    Now you can help us by donating any amount you want with the help of BITCOIN NETWORK

    DONATE NOW with Bitcoin payment

    World Health Organization bitcoin address (BTC Wallet) for donations is: ...

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Flame

    "Ransomware operators of DoppelPaymer and Maze malware stated . . ."

    Um, just a question to the FBI : can't you fucking get a handle on these guys if they have an actual PR channel ?

    Maybe you should go ask help from someone capable, like Jim Browning ?

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: "Ransomware operators of DoppelPaymer and Maze malware stated . . ."

      I suspect that between GCHQ & the NSA the government probably does know who these people are.

      What they don't have is legally held information proving it, or they don't want to give away their information sources so they have to engineer some way of getting the information. It's already somewhat known that the drugs bods occasionally get quasi anonymous calls telling them to pull random cars over to get sniffed over by a drugs dog, along with a specific vehicle registration which ought to have an extra sensitive search done of the sealed carrier bag under the spare tyre in the boot. And this telephone call didn't actually happen, it was a figment of your imagination.

      I'm sure that there are equivalent deniable ways of getting some information to police in this sort of case, even if it's something like spoofing an IP to do something to get a search warrant for the hackers computer, which allows them to find real evidence.

      That, or the level of surveillance by GCHQ/NSA is massively overblown.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: "Ransomware operators of DoppelPaymer and Maze malware stated . . ."

        That, or the level of surveillance by GCHQ/NSA is massively overblown. .... Peter2

        You can be sure there are those who would love that level of surveillance by a GCHQ/NSA not proven personally to be wrong and massively overblown and just a fleet of figments of failed imaginations. ...... for it reveals a catastrophic endemic systemic vulnerability for exhaustive exploitation.

        And that takes one into "You can take a Trojan Horse to Water, but you can't make IT drink KoolAId" Territory where Ignorance and/or Arrogance is Vanquished in Waves of Surges and Purges ...... Up and Downs ....... In Favour and Out of Favour Flavours. :-)

        Does a Cheltenham Facility or Fort Meade Utility have anything really interesting to tempt future spooks there? Something similar to anything relatively new and remotely like an Advanced CyberIntelAIgent ProgramMING being Practised and Master Piloted by Others for Others Elsewhere with the Exercise of a Pleasant Command with Puppets to Control and Carress would be real nice.

        There are those who would love and be prepared to die in order to know if there be the answers to all of anyone's questions too.

  9. Giles C Bronze badge

    Spammers all still at it

    Not as bad as the ransom operators but I just got this email in my junk folder - somehow it is staying there.....

    We are all affected by the growing COVID-19 pandemic. It's an unprecedented health challenge and we know people and organizations everywhere want to help. The World Health Organization is leading and coordinating the global effort, supporting countries to prevent, detect, and respond to the pandemic.

    The greatest need right now is to help ensure all countries are prepared, especially those with the weakest health systems. Donations support WHO’s work to track and understand the spread of the virus; to ensure patients get the care they need and frontline workers get essential supplies and information; and to accelerate efforts to develop vaccines, tests, and treatments.

    Now you can help us by donating any amount you want with the help of BITCOIN NETWORK

    DONATE NOW with Bitcoin payment

    World Health Organization bitcoin address (BTC Wallet) for donations is: (no I am not publishing the code)

    Your contribution will matter!

    © 2020 WHO

    World Health Organization

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Spammers all still at it

      See if that email accepts incoming replies*. A lot of these are sent from spoofed addresses, but if it looks like a quickly set up address, they might have someone there for helping with things like getting bitcoin and sending it to the correct wallet. If so, we can certainly waste their time quite well by pretending to know nothing about what we're trying to do.

      *Only if you got this email on an address you don't care much about. I would not recommend you reply with your personal email, but a semi-disposable one without your real name is safe.

  10. perlcat

    More ethical than...

    A business exec taking bailout money and awarding themselves a bonus.

  11. ThinkingMonkey

    Hoping crooks do the right thing?

    "To expect bad men not to do wrong is madness." - Marcus Aurelius, "Meditations"

  12. Claverhouse Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Show All Relevant Papers, Driver...

    Maybe it's just a false-flag thing by BoJo to accustom people to the Brexit shortages after he successfully negotiates a No-Deal.

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