News Posts matching #extortion

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Cybersecurity in 2019: Ransomware up 41% in the US Alone, Average Decryption Price in December 2019 set at $190,946

A Report via the New York Times paints an increasingly challenging picture for security specialists, technology users and businesses. Security firm Emsisoft reported a 41% increase in ransomware attacks in 2019 (in the US) compared to the previous year (up to 205,280 distinct attacks). The advent of cryptocurrencies with built-in anonimity, such as Monero, have become the favored extortion method employed by wrongdoers, shielding them from the usual checks and balances of the banking system. And with increasingly complex tools in the hands of hackers, plus the advantage of first strike new attacks enjoy, ransomware is becoming harder and harder to battle. According to the New York Times, citing security firm Coveware, the average payment for file decryption in 2019 rose to $84,116 in the Q4 2019, double what it was just in Q3. And in the last month of the year, the average decryption payment jumped more than twofold to $190,946.

SOPA/PIPA Internet Protests Go Viral, Hit Home

The protests to the widely condemned SOPA & PIPA "antipiracy" censorship bills have been a resounding success. They have gone viral with many, many websites blacking out and putting up protest pages, with big players taking part such as Wikipedia, Google, EFF, Reddit, Craigslist, Techdirt (greyed out) and many more taking part. Unsurprisingly, the bills' backers have not shown any sign of backing down (yet) but were prompted to make statements "wondering what all the fuss is about" to play down the damage done to their play for power, since they have recently made changes to them, such as removing the DNS blocking provisions - for now. Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) senior vice president of communications Jonathan Lamy called the protests 'stunts': "It's a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users and arm them with misinformation. It's time for the stunts to end and those who claim to care about rogue website theft to back up their rhetoric and work with us on meaningful solutions." This is the same RIAA that sued their own customers with extortionate "settlement" letters remember.

An Open Letter to the Gaming Community from CD Projekt RED

A month ago, we reported that CD Projekt RED, makers of The Witcher 2 had claimed that they could identify '100% of pirates' and had started an RIAA-style 'settlement letter' shakedown (extortion) tactic in Germany. Well, unsurprisingly, this hasn't gone down too well with their customers and the outcry has been loud and strong, especially on gog.com, where their forums have been full of posts from disgruntled customers. Well, it looks like the pressure has gotten too much for them and they have backpedalled furiously on this decision and issued an open letter, published on rockpapershotgun.com. In it, they state that they want people to continue to have faith in them and stressed how they're still totally against 'piracy' of their products and appealed for gamers to refrain from engaging in it:
In early December, an article was published about a law firm acting on behalf of CD Projekt RED, contacting individuals who had downloaded The Witcher 2 illegally and seeking financial compensation for copyright infringement. The news about our decision to combat piracy directly, instead of with DRM, spread quickly and with it came a number of concerns from the community. Repeatedly, gamers just like you have said that our methods might wrongly accuse people who have never violated our copyright and expressed serious concern about our actions.

Hurt Locker Copyright Extortion Racket In Tatters, Plaintiffs' Hypocrisy

Voltage Pictures, producers of movie Hurt Locker attempted to use a reverse class action tactic to extort hundreds of millions in 'settlement' claims aka extortion demands over alleged 'losses' due to 'piracy' - something that has never and can never, be quantified and proved. However, their attempt has failed miserably - plus read on for how Voltage Pictures did a little content 'theft' of their very own to make the movie.

The idea was to use the services of the US Copyright Group (USCG) to extract personal subscriber information from ISP's via subpoenas and then send demand letters averaging US $2,000 to hapless victims, with the hope of racking in a grand total of around US $94 million - way more than the film ever made, about US $12.6 million.
The USCG quickly unloaded lawsuit claims against 47K members of the unwitting American public, even as Voltage Picture spewed a stream of vitriol suggesting that the children and families of file sharers would hopefully "end up in jail".
explained DailyTech, putting it very well. Yes, let's get the kiddies in the name of corporate copyright and profit...
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