The title is perhaps more inflammatory than the reality, but I can alter it later.

Concerning this answer: https://security.stackexchange.com/a/120775/6253 to the question "What should you do if you catch ransomware mid-operation?"

There has been a lot of controversy and a ton of flags. I am choosing to keep the answer in place.

  1. It is the only answer that suggests that interfering with the encryption process might damage the data
  2. The author discloses the conflict of interest

From a technical standpoint, it has validity. From a conflict of interest perspective, all cards are on the table. People have the info they need to make an informed decision.

This specific malware author is not benefitting from this specific instance: the topic and answer are generic, it's not about this author's own malware. So, there is only potential tangential personal benefit to the author from people following the advice.

If the answer had more direct benefit to the author, then things would be different.

  • 9
    Could I suggest adding a question status notice (example) containing the mod message instead of editing it into the post?
    – Insane
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 20:19
  • I am one of the persons that flagged the answer. I asumed it was meant as a joke, and that it therefore merited an NAA flag. The idea that it might actually be from a malware author never struck me. When I read it again after reading this post that interpretation seems more likely.
    – Anders
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 20:19
  • @Insane All I have access to are 3 canned responses that don't fit.
    – schroeder Mod
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 20:26
  • 10
    Oh, there's no doubt that the answer should stay. Whether or not letting the malware do its work is certainly worth discussing. But, as I said in my flag, Stack Exchange should be working with law enforcement personnel to identify this person and bring them to justice. I don't think Stack Exchange can afford to be seen as an accessory to a crime. Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 4:07
  • 23
    @DavidWallace Exactly what "crime" do we "bring them to justice" for? All we have is a vague, uncorroborated claim that they write malware. "Bringing people to justice" based on vague suspicions that they are a terrible person is the definition of a witch-hunt - and I for one don't want any part in that. (Of course if somebody uses this site to take responsibility for a specific incident of crime, that's different.) Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 14:56
  • 9
    "Should we allow members of Group X to do Y?" - yes, if anyone else is allowed to do Y, then so should members of Group X. Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 0:05
  • 4
    @immibis I'm not sure that is a valid argument. There is only so far that can go.
    – schroeder Mod
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 3:54
  • 6
    This specific malware author is not benefiting from this specific instance... From my point of view, he is trying to prevent people from figuring out ways to defeat malware (which is not beneficial for him or his colleges).
    – lepe
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 2:49
  • 2
    The question stipulates, "You want to preserve as much of your data as possible. However, paying any ransom is out of the question." The answer says, "don't preserve any data and just pay the ransom," which is clearly not an answer to the question. Why are flags getting deleted? Is one moderator just going to enforce his will over everybody else? Commented Apr 23, 2016 at 2:54
  • 2
    @mehasse If that's the best answer (to give in, and pay the ransom), then the OP might be asking an XY question: he could be too focused on his solution (to not pay the ransom) to see the actual problem (to save his data). (I'm not saying this is necessarily true, though.)
    – Numeri
    Commented Apr 23, 2016 at 3:04
  • 2
    @mehaase frankly, yes, I am exerting my will over the flags - unless the other mods disagree, I am taking charge on this one. I posted this in Meta so that the (constructive) discussion could be made here and not on the answer itself. You are correct that the question says that they do not want to pay the ransom, but the core of the answer is "if you try to mess with the encryption, you might damage the files"
    – schroeder Mod
    Commented Apr 23, 2016 at 3:56
  • 5
    @mehaase I see no irony, or similarity, between a potentially technically valid answer, and someone mocking both that answer and the process I set up to have a rational discourse about it.
    – schroeder Mod
    Commented Apr 23, 2016 at 7:47
  • 1
    @mehaase - While it may have seemed that schroeder was "enforcing his will over everybody" had he not started this thread, I don't see it that way with this thread being created. I'm sure that if this question had many downvotes (it currently has 1 downvote and 25 upvotes), schroeder would consider deleting the question. But, with so many upvotes and only one downvote, I think it is fair so say that schroeder is enforcing the will of the community. Commented Apr 24, 2016 at 2:08
  • 1
    @mehaase I am processing flags, as is my job as a mod. I delete your comments on the answer because discussion is supposed to happen here, as was clearly indicated in the mod note. I delete your "answer" here, because it was mocking. There is nothing untoward in my actions.
    – schroeder Mod
    Commented Apr 24, 2016 at 3:46
  • 4
    @DavidWallace If you start with the argument "we'll sick the law on you if we don't like what you did" creates an atmosphere of silence that goes far beyond what's intended. We all pretty much agree ransomware authors are "the bad guys". But what about someone who found security vulnerabilities in Facebook and did some minor joy-ride harm? If this starts to become a place where some off-handed comment about being a malware author brings the hammer down, that's a very destructive thing. Personally I'm of the belief we can learn something from malware authors. Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 19:14

11 Answers 11


We should judge each answer on its own and whether it provides valid advice. The fact that the author is a malware developer is irrelevant. If the advice is good, then upvote it, if not, then downvote it.

  • 11
    The fact that the author stands to gain money from his response makes it difficult to evaluate the quality of the answer. The answer does not point to any authoritative source (except himself). IF somebody posted, "how do I X in a webapp" and somebody replied, "just buy product Y; disclaimer: I am author of product Y", that wouldn't be allowed here. Is this substantially different? Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 3:57
  • 4
    @mehaase the question has multiple answers so people have the choice. And as awful as it is, if you don't have any choice (no backups, etc) then paying the ransom is IMO a better solution than not recovering the data at all. So for me the answer is valid. Commented Apr 23, 2016 at 18:36
  • 3
    @mehaase Then shouldn't we disallow all similar answers, not just the ones posted by malware authors, because they all help malware authors to gain money regardless of who posted them? Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 0:30
  • 2
    If the author was hoping to gain money from that answer, why would he have disclosed that he was a ransomware author?
    – Ixrec
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 12:36
  • @lxrec Because the site's rules require answerers to disclose their affiliation so readers are informed of potential conflicts of interest. Not doing so would mislead readers. (While this malware author's professional ethics are questionable, their academic ones are clearly fine.)
    – Anko
    Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 22:24
  • 1
    @Anko this shows that the person's intentions here were far from malicious. If they were they wouldn't have disclosed their affiliation. Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 23:46
  • @mehaase Though maybe not as direct an association, aren't a lot of the answers here to make the author money? Anyone that works in InfoSec and recommends anti-virus, pen testing, better hosting etc. we could argue is making money. Unless the answer is subversive or obfuscates to their benefit, it doesn't seem unreasonable.
    – Dave
    Commented May 2, 2016 at 17:29
  • @Anko Yeah but 1. This guy is not the developer of ALL ransomware and 2. How would you know otherwise? Nobody knows you're a dog on the internet. Commented May 2, 2016 at 23:27
  • 2
    @immibis If somebody that's not a malware author posted the same answer, then that would not be a conflict of interest. It would still be a lousy, unsubstantiated answer, though. I can't know for sure why he discloses his conflict of interest, but I assume that it's because he has no way to substantiate his point other than to claim to be an authority. I doubt he disclosed his conflict of interest in order to adhere to SE rules or out of a deep concern for transparency. Those are not the kind of things criminals care about. Commented May 3, 2016 at 18:37
  • @mehaase Why does SE care if it's a conflict of interset? Commented May 3, 2016 at 20:51
  • 2
    @MarkE.Haase You overgeneralize "criminals". There are many, many criminals who would disclose conflict of interest in order to adhere to a site's rules, or out of concern for transparency. Not everyone who breaks the law is a petty sociopathic criminal with no regard for honestly.
    – forest
    Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 7:41

I don't think we should lock it. I fundamentally disagree with the poster's immoral stance. But see, in the information security field, this is what we're up against: people who don't care who they hurt. They'll justify it all they can.

That answer is a good reminder of what we face daily, and it's technically correct anyway. It's also a good reminder to have proper, unattached backups.

  • 2
    Wish I could +10 this answer. It captures both my emotional and technical response to the answer. Commented Apr 24, 2016 at 2:10
  • 8
    “The OP is obviously a Grade-A scumbag without a conscience.” Or they’re just a troll who’s never read a line of code in their life, laughing at us for taking their joke answer at face value.
    – PLL
    Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 10:42
  • 12
    @PLL In which case they'd only be a Grade-B scumbag.
    – kasperd
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 22:10
  • 4
    @MarkBuffalo Had the guy not disclosed the fact that he was, in fact, a ransomeware developer, would your reaction have been the same to "don't mess with the ransomeware, you might lose data permanently"?
    – undo
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 14:48

This reminds me of this question and my answer. Basically, you have an answer which is technically valid, informative, and fully honest in its disclosure of conflict of interests; and yet, it comes from an author with which "we" (the so-called SE community) would not like to be associated. It kinda forces us to make a clear decision.

I suppose that if that answer came to appear before the eyes of a journalist who is out of news fodder, or the chaste eyes of a SE moderator (not a community-elected moderator), then thorough smiting may occur. In that sense, keeping that controversial response visible is really a question about how much you are ready to defend it. But this is just an unsubstantiated prediction of mine, of course.

  • I think I am ready to defend it and I have set up this Meta Q&A so people can understand the principles involved (and where I see the boundaries). If the association harms the community, then it clearly needs to be taken down.
    – schroeder Mod
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 19:54
  • 10
    +1 for "Namely, you are all sissies". I agree with Schroeder that letting people make informed decisions based on all the available information is better than censoring information on account of its source. If an experienced blackhat is willing to share valuable information within the scope this site, then let's have it. "Script kiddies" aside, malware authors certainly fit the description of "IT Security Professional". Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 14:46
  • 2
    Is it a technically valid answer? He doesn't cite any authoritative source other than himself, and we know he has a conflict of interest. He makes more money if people believe his answer is the one truth. It's a thinly veiled advertisement for his industry: "don't try to stop it, just send me $$$". I don't see how this situation is anything like posting exploit code. Commented Apr 23, 2016 at 2:40
  • @MarkE.Haase I don't think this person believes his answer will result in him earning even a single extra cent. I have stock in one specific, small dairy company that you have likely never heard of. If I told you that milk is good for your bones in a discussion about milk, would you cry conflict of interest?
    – forest
    Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 7:45
  • 1
    @forest If you owned 100% of a milk company, then yes, that would be an obvious conflict of interest. Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 17:17
  • @MarkE.Haase Of a single, small milk company which you would have never ever seen? That's a little odd. Furthermore, what if said malware author was part of a team and, like me, "owned" only a portion of the income. Would the conflict of interest then go out the window?
    – forest
    Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 23:06
  • 1
    @forest Are you familiar with the National Dairy Council? It is a trade association in the US funded by dairy companies. They each pay money into it and the association advocates on behalf of dairy producers' interests. Why? Because each dairy producer has an interest in growing and protecting the dairy market. So yes, they clearly see real monetary value from positive messaging about dairy, even though the association doesn't endorse any specific brand. I'm not going to argue about this 2 year-old thread anymore. Agree to disagree about what "conflict of interest" means. Commented Aug 14, 2018 at 13:32
  • If there was an entire industry dedicated to improving the public image of ransomware, I could agree that there is the potential for a conflict of interest. For a single individual posting a single, small answer on a single Q&A site once in 2016? Highly doubtful. Not to mention, it's bad faith to equate me saying that milk is good for your bones in one hypothetical thread with the sum of the messages from a large national organization. I think the conclusion that this guy's answer is a PR stunt is not reasonable.
    – forest
    Commented Aug 14, 2018 at 21:12

In regards to the question https://security.stackexchange.com/a/120775/6253, how can we even validate that the poster indeed is a malware author?

As I mention here it seems there is an undue amount of time focusing on the philosophical implications of assuming online profiles can be trusted. So what is the point? At the end of the day, our site should be a professional resource, yes? If so, then why get hung up on minor details that can not be verified?

My advice would be to simply edit that question to remove the disclaimer that the kid is a malware author with the justification that this cannot be verified and due to it's inflammatory nature does more professional harm than good and therefore is nothing more than perceived trolling...

And a gentle reminder to all to just be objective and tolerant.

  • 4
    I agree with you. All this discussion is mainly provoked by that disclaimer. He doesn't provide any other information so we know that what he is saying is true. ransomware is created by aliens. Just pay and prevent being abducted... disclaimer: I'm an alien.
    – lepe
    Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 6:47
  • And even if that supposed malware author is indeed who he says he is and if he has done things that are against the law then it is up to police and justice to act against him. We should not stoop so low as to conduct vigilante justice
    – user13695
    Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 14:11

The real answer lies in the question

Is this disclosure an example of a conflict of interest?

This case: Not really.
The case by case basis is the rule of thumb for this for a reason. This disclosure is showing that the person just writes such types of software and has experience with them. It does not bound into the conflict of interest range since it does not recommend something that is a true interest in benefit to the answer writer. Their answer really only points out one thing, and that is in that doing something wrong is just as bad, if not worse, than doing nothing and that it is really easy to do something wrong. That's not really a conflict of interest, just a statement of experience from such and such place.

The problem comes in that people are miss viewing it and raises a few more questions

Is the FAQ/Rules about conflict of interest clear enough?

The answer to that is a little trickier since I can't see the votes themselves(yet). If this is a bunch of close because of conflict of interest, then maybe it does need to be written in a better manner that shows what a conflict of interest REALLY is.

If the votes to close it are We don't want to associate with this person then you run into the question of

Should we worry that people who write malware browse our SE?

But the answer to that is an astonishing No because they could go to a library and with enough research find the SAME EXACT information, and by trying to block them we run into the larger ethical problem of

Who do we ban in advance based on speculation to keep us running the way we want to?

which is a bombshell I'm sure NO ONE wants to jump onto.

  • 2
    We can't avoid the question of who to ban forever. For example, what if we get the question "How do I keep my library of child abuse images secure from the police?"
    – paj28
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 8:57
  • @paj28: I think we can avoid the question. We know new accounts are effectively free to create so lifetime ban really does very little, and less when IPv6 mass rollout happens. So, we can't really ban.
    – Joshua
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 15:51
  • @Joshua - Mods can still police content even if users can work around a ban
    – paj28
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 17:36
  • @paj28 bad example. That question isn't allowed for other reasons. What you've posted as an example is a just cause banning. I'm posing is "Who do we ban in advance based on speculation to keep us running the way we want to?" which is totalitarianism. Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 20:12
  • 1
    @RobertMennell - I see. That's not very clear in your answer - perhaps you could edit to clarify?
    – paj28
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 8:45
  • 2
    @paj28 That kind of question would be the kind made by an obvious troll. If someone asked how to best defend against a specific adversary (like the FBI) and defined a specific threat model (hiding the existence of sensitive media), it would be fine to answer it. If they start out saying "hey guise I wanna commit a crime, help me do it!" then banning the obvious troll is the natural thing to do. Yes, perverts and criminals ask questions and write answers on SE. No, we should not be getting into the role of thought police in order to enforce our own morals. We should ban trolls, that's it.
    – forest
    Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 7:50

I repeat the message I put in the flag: "Advise locking this post. Deleting is silly and probably counterproductive."

In the days where CNN runs articles on the inside of criminal or near-criminal institutions, erasing their voice altogether is pointless; it will just appear somewhere else.

  • 8
    I looked at locking, but that goes too far, IMO. It means no one can vote on the answer, for instance.
    – schroeder Mod
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 19:17

Ok, so let me clarify my stance on this one. The answer is two fold:

The best thing to do is nothing. Doing something stupid might lead to data loss or corruption.

This part, I am totally fine with. It's a valid stance and is worth discussing regarding restoration of data if the process can be reversed.

Then comes the second part:

Let it finish and then contact the people listed there, pay the ransom and you are good to go. We are professionals and will help you get your files back. Disclaimer: I am a ransomware developer.

This part is potentially harmful as malware owners will most probably:

  • get a copy of your data in the process
  • get your money and not give you your files back

Both of these being harmful to the user, even if he is honest with his business. Not calling out the potential risk while kind of advertising for the service is detrimental to someone looking for answer for this particular problem, especially if it's ongoing.

The disclaimer is error prone at best, malevolent at worst. It is not really possible to know whether the author claims that malware authors like him are professionals that will help you get your data back, or if he is posing as a security expert, knowing about malware, that will help you recover your data the right way. I'm not yet sure which understanding is intended.

There is some refining to do here to avoid any confusion.

  • 9
    Actually, there is no hard evidence for your points - AFAIK, most consumer connections do not allow upload of (todays) TB in a jiffy. Also, there have been no reports I heard of that ransomware "owners" will not unlock the data in case of successful money transfer. If they really didn't unlock the data, the whole ransom - which seems to be a good monetarization method - would no longer work. It would just be another virus that kills all data.
    – Tobi Nary
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 21:39
  • I agree with @SmokeDispenser, if most ransomware "owners" did not unlock the files, then you would not keep hearing about hospitals paying ransomware "owners". Every time a large organization decides to pay these criminals, they have done a cost analysis of the pros and a cons of paying the ransom. Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 19:55
  • 3
    @SmokeDispenser they will often unlock the files. After all, they have a reputation to maintain for their "business". However, it's not really a problem for them if, after you paid, they failed to release your files. Reasons may vary: suspended email or web addresses, seized servers, or even malware author incompetence (as I pointed out in my comment). I have also heard from a victim that was asked to pay again (heh, it's an extortion).
    – Ángel
    Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 22:18
  • 1
    @SmokeDispenser "Many victims have paid the ransom and failed to regain access to files." Now you've a heard a report. infoworld.com/article/3043197/security/… Commented May 3, 2016 at 18:53

The author discloses the conflict of interest.

Disclosure doesn't necessarily make every conflict of interest acceptable. If somebody posts, "how do I do X" and somebody answers, "just buy product Y, disclaimer: I am author of product Y," then we would not accept that as a valid answer.

Furthermore, other posters in this thread are talking about this disclosure like its some altruistic attempt at transparency. You really think a criminal cares about the SE rules? My guess is that he discloses his affiliation because it's the only way to support his answer. He can't show any code or point to any documented examples, so instead he says, "I know because I created it."

For these two reasons, I assert that the disclosure is totally worthless and should not be considered a mitigating factor in this poor quality answer.

This specific malware author is not benefiting from this specific instance.

He doesn't benefit directly from this one answer, but in the same sense that industry associations lobby for policies beneficial only to their members, this criminal is lobbying for an answer to the question that benefits members of his industry — himself included.

It is clearly in his interest to convince people not to try to defeat ransomware. Especially if he can convince security experts on this site, then those security experts take that knowledge back to their coworkers, friends, and family.

Could you picture him providing an answer that undermines his business? "Suspending ransomware is a really good way to mitigate the damage, and I know because the ransomware I wrote is utterly defeated by this tactic!" Of course he wouldn't say this. He's not going to undermine his own business. Ergo, telling people not to suspend ransomware is a way of supporting his own business.

People have the info they need to make an informed decision.

How does this answer inform the reader? It is absurdly brief, provides no explanation, and offers no citations to support its points. It is the shortest of all 8 answers for that question. The next shortest answer is about twice as long, and the average answer is probably 5-10 times as long, which suggests something about the amount of information in this answer.

From a technical standpoint, it has validity.

I see no evidence of this. Many technical questions have an easily verifiable answer, e.g. run some code and see if it works. Answers that are difficult to verify directly should cite some authoritative source (documentation or source code). An opinion-only answer or a "just trust me" answer is not a good fit for SE.

According to InfoWorld, there are many instances where paying the ransom simply doesn't work at all.

In this case, letting ransomware run to completion is exceedingly unlikely to benefit the victim:

  1. Files that were not yet encrypted could have been backed up.
  2. Files that were already encrypted were conceivably recoverable under a number of plausible scenarios (weak encryption, failing to overwrite plaintext, etc.).
  3. A file that is in the process of being encrypted could conceivably be corrupted, but not if the ransomware writes the complete ciphertext before overwriting the plaintext. And if a file is corrupted in this way, the probability that it is an important file is # of important files / # of files, which could be a very low probability — much, much lower than the probability that some of the unencrypted files are important.

Given the OP's scenario of not being willing to pay the ransom, points #2 and #3 aren't even on topic.

Should we allow malware authors to weigh in on questions?

6 upvotes for a comment saying you're a "sissy" if you disagree, but when it comes to the bad guy, nobody wants to call him names! "Malware author" is a generous characterization of what he does.

He's a criminal.

His ilk are extorting hospitals, potentially leading to interrupted medical care and resulting in illness and death. Even if his opinion was technically valid (it's not) and answered the question (it doesn't) and didn't serve his own interests (it does), he still shouldn't be given a voice in this community.

I'll shut up now.

  • 4
    Again, I say, the core of the answer is NOT about paying the ransom, but about not interfering with the encryption process because interference might make the file unrecoverable. "As someone who writes this sort of program, I suggest there is danger to the file if you mess with the process." Personal experience IS allowed as answers on nearly every other answer, if direct citations are not possible or too varied. I understand that you want to punish this person, but the answer, not the person, has value here.
    – schroeder Mod
    Commented Apr 24, 2016 at 3:52
  • 2
    Furthermore, there's a huge difference between a generic ransomware author and someone who is willing to extort a hospital, in the same way there is a difference between a petty thief and someone who does contract killing for a living. Generalizing all criminals is, well, stereotyping.
    – forest
    Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 8:00

The question is about whether we should apply a moral basis to answers. I think the answer is a resounding "no". If we went down that path, the question becomes "who's morals?".

Morality is personal, cultural, and often ambiguous. Personally I believe malware authors are scum, though some may disagree. But what about some kid that hacks Facebook in some relatively harmless, but clever way? What about someone who offers an answer about getting past "the great firewall of China?" Many people would approve of that here, unless you're a Chinese official.

If you start down the path of limiting certain people because you don't agree with them morally, where does it stop? There's rarely clear guidelines, and unclear guidelines create self-censorship.

Keeping an open culture allows open discussion. Trying to clamp down on people for crossing your own moral line (but still providing useful information) only clouds the issue, and creates an atmosphere of silence.


The fact that a person is malware developer does not bring the person's full intent into perspective by itself. Just as hackers can be good or bad malware developers can be good or bad. Penetration testers develop malware all the time (whether it is automated or not i.e. msfvenom). Unless a user is specifically saying that he/she is trying to rob a bank or spy on their ex, we as a community shouldn't jump to conclusions that the intent is malicious. Therefor, should not attempt to censor questions relating to malware.

  • 2
    Although I agree with you in principle, in this particular case the post author is admitting to be a ransomware developer (not for research purposes). However even in that case we should not be censoring it.
    – forest
    Commented Mar 14, 2021 at 1:00
  • The issue here is an answer not a question, and the malicious intent is made clear. So, I'm not sure this answer addresses my question at all.
    – schroeder Mod
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 9:48

I think we should weigh all pros and cons. Speaking about Ransomware is actually like suggesting to enter personal data on a phishing site.

Assume I have never heard of Ransomware. If a pop-up shows up asking to pay to retrieve my data, I will probably not pay.

However, if the pop-up shows the message "You have been caught by Ransomware" and I previously know what Ransomware is, there's a slight chance I will pay (eventually using a throwaway credit card) if the asked money is not so much and I don't want to reinstall everything on my machine.

Questions and answers on Ransomware helps Ransomware builds a reputation, which turns in money for Ransomware developers. Isn't strange already the burst of traffic on that question? I've also had some discussion in comments which was extended into a chat discussion about that.

However that question is invaluable because it makes present that encrypting data may eventually cause the loss of the data (bugged crypto routine, or simply a 1 bit error: if you have a 1 bit error somewhere in your source code it will just turn into a compiler error, which is easy to fix, however 1 bit error in encrypted data turns into a permanent loss of all data).

Personally, I would not delete that question in particular, but there are other questions that maybe should be deleted (however given a lot of blogs already speak of Ransomware, this should be done only if SE gives to malware writers much more visibility).

  • The question here is not whether we should talk about ransomware, but about what sources we should allow. It's not about the question, but about the one Answer.
    – schroeder Mod
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 17:56
  • You should consider here some votes manipulation from Ransom authors, the question become increndibly popular, thus there are accounts voting up the answer from presumed malware author and voting down my answer ^^. It should need some attention I think Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 8:01
  • 2
    You are making wild assumptions with no evidence
    – schroeder Mod
    Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 14:36
  • I have resonable doubt, of course only a SE developer can verify that. Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 16:49
  • With very few exceptions (e.g. archaic error-propagating modes like PCBC), a single bit error in encrypted data tends to not destroy more than a few adjacent bytes.
    – forest
    Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 7:56

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