Cyber Privateers - reminds me of Sir Francis Drake
From the article: Vladimir Putin's country has been acused of hosting criminal extortionists on condition their online theft campaigns are never turned against ex-Soviet Union nations
Back in the day nations hired privateers to attack rival/enemy shipping, and leave theirs alone. In Sir Francis Drake's case, he was (probably) operating under Naval orders to attack and plunder Spanish ships.
So if these ransomware gangs are more like PRIVATEERS, are they REALLY being SANCTIONED to do their evil deeds? And, as part of a MILITARY strategy?
(and what would it take to drop a weapon on their heads, while they're operating from inside of Russia, without causing a war?)