The creator of a nasty blackmail virus has made an astonishing apology to his victims and begged forgiveness for swindling them.
Described as possessing the power of “an 800 pound gorilla”, Locker hobbled its targets’ computers and asked them to pay a ransom in Bitcoin, drawing comparisons with another digital nasty called Cryptolocker.
Researchers said Locker may have used a fake Minecraft installer to tempt innocent children into downloading it, before locking down their computer and asking them for money to open it up again.
But at midnight yesterday, the affected computers started to spring back to life after the creator of Locker had a dramatic change of heart.
Under the name Poka BrightMinds, the apologetic hacker wrote: “I am the author of the Locker ransomware and I’m very sorry about what has happened.
“It was never my intention to release this. Sorry for all the trouble.”
After this message was posted online, victims’ computers began to work again – but people who paid a ransom have received no refund.
Digital security expert Stu Sjouwerman rubbished the apology and suggested the virus was probably released after months of planning.
“If he would really have genuine remorse, everyone would get refunded, which does not seems to have happened,” he said.
Sjouwerman insisted he had never before seen a hacker apologise and put forward an explanation about why the cyber-con artist changed his tune.
“He seems to have either made so much money that he’s pulling out of this criminal campaign, or has gotten cold feet and is afraid to get caught either by law enforcement or damaged by a local cyber mafia.
“What we can assume is that he is a talented coder but not an experienced cyber criminal because a foul-up like this would never have happened with professional Eastern European organized cybercrime.
“He may have worked as a developer for one of these gangs and decided to start his own outfit which backfired.”
Source: Irish Mirror