My first engagement with and introduction to the malware problem was back in 1989. Surprisingly, that first encounter was not a virus, even though through the 80s viruses were the aspect of security that most people were aware of, and Trojans – or trojans, as some of my colleagues in the industry nowadays insist on spelling it – comprised at that time a very small proportion of the virus-dominated malware scene. However, the ‘AIDS Trojan’ was pretty big news at the time in the fledgling anti-virus industry, even though it targeted a fairly specialized sector of the medical research community.
In fact, I still have one of the disks sent out carrying the ‘AIDS Trojan’, sometimes cited as the first ransomware, at the end of the 1980s, retained for purely sentimental reasons.
However, the impact and scale of the ransomware problem seems to have increased dramatically in recent months, so I though perhaps it was time to set up a page somewhat along the lines of our tech support scams page. Unfortunately, it’s not as polished as I’d like, due to pressure to meet other commitments. But I figured this might be one of those ‘something is better than nothing’ moments. Not that there isn’t already good information out there, but I wanted to have some links and commentary in one place.
So here it is, warts and all.