Welcome to the ‘Ransom Spring’ and bitcoin attack

So whose Spring is this going to be?

As elections across Europe and the US may have placated the masses, will an Arab Spring materialize again? Or Occupy Something?

Perhaps this season will be the “Ransom Spring” as hackers unleash a massive cyber attack that infected hundreds of thousands of computers running Microsoft Windows.

Microsoft has pointed to the National Security Agency as the hackers are using a technique purportedly stolen from the ultra secret spy agency. The cyber attack targets Microsoft’s operating system through a back-door channel put in the code to allow government access to the computer without the user knowing it.

The hack effectively takes over the computer and demands a $300 ransom, to be paid in 72 hours with bitcoin.

I can’t help to think that there could be another nefarious motive behind this attack. By asking for bitcoin to pay the ransom, which most people will not pay preferring to wait for a software fix, it could also be an operation to discredit the cryptocurrency as its valued soared to more than $1,800.

Bitcoin’s value saw a $200 decline as the global hack was taking place. However the sell off was short-lived and values have rebounded somewhat into the low $1,700 range.

In another ransom attack, Disney’s Chairman and CEO Bob Iger told company employees on Monday that the newest installment of “The Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise is being held hostage by hackers and will be released on the web unless the company pays the undisclosed ransom.

Disney’s ransom attack is similar to the cyber theft Netflix faced last month when hackers  stole unreleased episodes of the hit “Orange is the New Black.”

Netflix refused to pay the price and the shows were leaked online.

And so it may begin The Ransom Spring. Look for this uprising online.

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