The latest episode of Radiolab has what is without a doubt the best malware victim interview I’ve ever heard. Inna Simone’s computer was infected by CryptoWall late last year and based on her telling of it, the worst part of the experience was trying to buy the Bitcoin she needed to pay off the extortionists. In her words she was a “double victim!”.
Inna’s daughter, journalist Alina Simone, wrote about the experience in the January 2, 2015 edition of the New York Times. Both later appeared in an 8 minute segment on the April 18, 2015 airing of PBS NewsHour. But to get the full effect of Inna’s darkly humorous point of view, listen to the Radiolab story.
Here’s a screenshot of the related CryptoWall “Decrypter Service” which includes recommendations for numerous Bitcoin vendors.
So, just how many people have been in the same situation as Inna? Good numbers are difficult to come by, but least 82,000 people have watched this CryptoWall Decrypter demo video.
In the image above, do you see the dip in daily views during January? Looks to me like CryptoWall took time off for Orthodox Christmas.
The amount of money CryptoWall demands varies based on location, but $500 USD seems to be fairly common. At that amount, if just 10 percent of 82,000 people pay, it’s worth 4.1 million dollars to the gang of extortionists.
Or a “little fee” as “Goldpis Isda” calls it.