Scenes from the Coming Golden Age of Cyber-raiding.

I cannot possibly see how this can end badly for anyone.

 A Florida city agreed to pay $600,000 in ransom to hackers who took over its computer system, the latest in thousands of attacks worldwide aimed at extorting money from governments and businesses.

The Riviera Beach City Council voted unanimously this week to pay the hackers’ demands, believing the Palm Beach suburb had no choice if it wanted to retrieve its records, which the hackers encrypted. The council already voted to spend almost $1 million on new computers and hardware after hackers captured the city’s system three weeks ago.

Yeah, I know: not my circus, not my data. But the news that a small city is paying out six hundred grand to get its data back will likely cause ears to perk up all over the place, and there are a lot of cities for those folks to raid. Oh, it won’t last: contrary to popular belief, governments do have weapons that they can use against those who go after entire towns*, and eventually somebody will decide that it’s time to take off those particular gloves. But until then it might turn out to be quite the exciting time, in the Chinese-proverb sort of way.

Moe Lane

*Including literal weapons.


  • Aetius451AD says:

    Ever wonder why piracy went out of vogue? May be hard for the average woke guy or gal to imagine when they see Johnny Depp on the big screen. This is not a business with which you can put up. I imagine the Somali pirates were just kind of the forerunners of this.
    Romans used crucifixion. British went for the good old hanging or gibbeting. Nasty business.

    • UnmovingGreatLibrary says:

      Britannia ruling the waves had as much to do with eliminating piracy as British nastiness in dealing with it. When you can afford to have a navy that can blanket the world with ships, suppressing piracy is much easier.
      It was also important that they were willing to use said navy to that end. Britain and the other European powers tolerated the Barbary pirates for centuries, until the United States Navy, larger, more powerful and more experienced after the War of 1812, forced peace on all of the Barbary states in quick succession. At that point, Europe realized that they didn’t have to put up with them, and that was the end of the Barbary Pirates.
      Also, I’m sure the Spanish will be happy to point out that piracy became less of a problem after the British got out of the piracy business themselves.

  • Luke says:

    Killing people is government’s core competency.

    Don’t poke bears.

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