CNN)A Florida city is paying $600,000 in Bitcoins to a hacker who took over local government computers after an employee clicked on a malicious email link three weeks ago.
A new ransomware attack called Thanatos demands payment in Bitcoin Cash, which contains a decryption bug that makes it impossible for attack victims to recover stolen files, reports security researcher Malware HunterTeam.
After infecting a target, Thanatos injects a key for each encrypted file, but those keys are never saved anywhere, thus making decryption and file recovery nearly impossible, in a development first reported on blog BleepingComputer.
A Thanatos attack warns that “files can only be decrypted by our decode tool.”
Guess what? Thanatos’ tool does no such thing, asserts the malware researcher Francesco Muroni cited by BleepingComputer, underscoring another reason why law enforcement officials generally advocate that victims never give into ransomware demands because the attackers are not be trusted, for obvious reasons.
The cryptocurrency spinoff Bitcoin Cash emerged after its namesake’s value trajectory of astronomical proportions last year led to bubble predictions and an onslaught of dubious get-rich-quick schemes ripe for exploitation by nefarious parties up to no good.