Little Durham, New Hampshire, home to just 15,000 people, has a big problem.
Last Thursday a police officer opened what appeared to be an email attachment and within hours, the department computer network tanked.
They were infected with ransomware called CRYPTOWALL, a new exploit overtaking the internet.
It works like this: You open a mailcious attachment and within minutes your entire harddrive is encrypted.
The hackers demand $300 to send the unencryption key or you lose every bit of your data; every email, every picture, every file on your drive.
They give you just 72 hours to send the cash.
Or you never see what’s on your computer, ever again.
"Make no mistake, the Town of Durham will be paying no ransom," Town Manager Todd Selig was quoted by CBS Boston News.
Symantic researchers were able to infiltrate one such hacker syndicate and discovered they were “earning” five million USD a year on this extortion.
People are paying to save their irreplaceable pictures and work data.
So what do you think?
A free and unmonitored internet?
Or one surveilled as heavily as the south Bronx,
so it is safer for us all?
Online hackers are making this very clear.
We can’t really have it both ways.
Have a great weekend!