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A Brief History of Ransomware

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The ISBuzz Post: This Post A Brief History of Ransomware appeared first on Information Security Buzz.

Ransomware’s Early Days

The first documented and purported example of ransomware was the 1989 AIDS Trojan, also known as PS Cyborg. Harvard-trained evolutionary biologist Joseph L. Popp sent 20,000 infected diskettes labeled “AIDS Information – Introductory Diskettes” to attendees of the World Health Organization’s international AIDS conference.

But after 90 reboots, the Trojan hid directories and encrypted the names of the files on the customer’s computer. To regain access, the user would have to send $189 to PC Cyborg Corp. at a post office box in Panama. Dr. Popp was eventually caught but never tried for his scheme as was declared unfit to stand trial. His attorney said he began wearing a cardboard box on his head to protect himself from radiation.

Fast Forward to the Internet Age

With the Internet making it easier to carry out Popp’s ransom idea, cyber criminals began...(continued)

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