back to article Venezuelan cardiologist charged with 'designing and selling ransomware'

The US Attorney’s Office has charged a 55-year-old cardiologist with creating and selling ransomware and profiting from revenue-share agreements with criminals who deployed his product. A complaint [PDF] filed on May 16th in the US District Court, Eastern District of New York, alleges Moises Luis Zagala Gonzalez – aka “ …

  1. BOFH in Training

    Interesting sideline

    Considering this is a self taught malware author, it's pretty impressive that his malware has at least some defensive capabilities to try and make sure it's not easily detectable.

    Of course it looks like his op sec was pretty bad.

    Presumably a fully qualified cardiologist will have a decent income in most parts of the world. Wonder if the economy situation in Venezuela is what made him go down this route.

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Interesting sideline

      Probably. It's the same thing in Cuba (great country, great people).

      The unsuccessful sanctions only really hurt the normal people. There you have highly skilled doctors and teachers working in tourist hotels as the tips are better than their wages.

      When there I tipped a very modest amount (in GBP) and I suddenly became the entire staffs best friend. It turned out my tip was almost weeks salary.

      As Clarkson pointed out in one top gear episode. That couple of quid you are haggling over for a suit, makes a massive difference to the persons life, so just don't.

    2. Warm Braw

      Re: Interesting sideline

      his op sec was pretty bad

      Sounds like his heart wasn't in it...

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Interesting sideline

      Writing malware is actually good fun when done under the white hat banner, I strongly advise any coder to take a look at some of the WH docs and vids and dig in as it teachs you a lot about a sideline aspect of coding most never have to consider, code that must hide in plain sight but still do its job. I also found it gave me a small insight into the mentality of those who do write and sell this stuff, their list of project goals are "out there" and not things normal coders ever have to think about. I still think anyone who does this for a living should get a real job and stop being a complete arsehole.

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: I still think anyone who does this for a living should get a real job...

        [th]A[y] ORTA get a real job?


  2. MOH

    "The self-taught coder and qualified cardiologist"

    That's probably better than the other way around

    1. Korev Silver badge

      Re: "The self-taught coder and qualified cardiologist"

      True, you beat me to the comment though...

    2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: "The self-taught coder and qualified cardiologist"

      If you spend your life looking at EKG traces then the environment is similar to coding debugging; you see the EKG trace have a big pulse up (QRS) , or a low slide down (T wave), or maybe too many little pulses (P waves) and then you figure out what the cause is ... generally something that a cardiologist can fix. So it's basically complex debugging, when your heart has an issue then a cardiologist will debug you.

  3. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    This time... was him that suffered an arrest.

  4. sreynolds

    Why is the cardiologist bit relavent?

    Is this to do with the hypocratic(al) oath? Alas, I came looking to see pacemaker exploits and just ended up with a regular criminal.

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