Ransomware 'customer support' chat reveals criminals' ruthlessness


Ransomware criminals chatting up victims, offering to delay deadlines, showing how to obtain Bitcoin, dispensing the kind of customer support that consumers lust for from their cable and mobile plan providers, PC and software makers?

What’s not to love?

Finnish security vendor F-Secure yesterday released 34 pages of transcripts from the group chat used by the crafters of the . The back-and-forth not only put a spotlight on the gang’s customer support chops, but, said a company security advisor, illustrated the intertwining of Bitcoin and extortion malware.

“We should be thankful that there are at least some practical barriers to purchase Bitcoins,” wrote Sean Sullivan of F-Secure in a to the firm’s blog. “If it were any easier to do so, very little else would check the growth of crypto-ransomware’s business model.”

” report that F-Secure published then. Yesterday, F-Secure posted the transcripts, 20,000 words or more, and dubbed the collection a “new supplemental appendix” to the original report.

“[A] fascinating read,” Sullivan said.

He wasn’t kidding.

In one exchange, a Spora victim said he or she had paid the extortion fee, but had gotten nothing in return. “I already sent you 98USD worth of bitcoin,” the victim reported.


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