Hackers have been getting a bad rap over the last few months. Their attacks have targeted hospitals, factories, and governments, and thousands of ordinary people have been affected. Recent reports have cast hackers very much as villains, portraying them as sinister and unfeeling individuals who hide behind the anonymity of the internet to carry out their nefarious crimes.
Turns out some hackers can have feelings too.
ThunderCrypt is a ransomware that was first surfaced in May this year. Like its more popular cousin, WannaCry, it locks up files on users’ computers until they pay the hackers a ransom. It had successfully hit a Taiwanese man’s computer earlier this week, and asked for $650 (Rs. 43,000) in exchange for unlocking their data. Instead of choosing to pay up, the unidentified man wrote an email to the hackers. “My monthly income only 400dollar…,” he said simply. “You really want to do this to me?”
— Faizal (@fztalks) May 17, 2017
You could have expected to hacker to laugh in his underground lair — they had absolutely no obligation to meet the Taiwanese man’s demands. But the man’s plaintive plea appeared to have struck a chord. “No we don’t,” the hacker replied in an email. “Frankly speaking, our Taiwanese campaign seems to have been a total failure. Apparently, we have largely overestimated the income of the population of your country,” he said with a air of a business executive discussing a recent project launch.
“Sooo, ok,” the hacker continued. “You don’t have to pay now.” He further assured the man that his access would soon be restored, and even asked him to get in touch in case it wasn’t.
But that wasn’t all. The ThunderCrypt hacker added what is possibly the cutest post script ever seen in a ransom email. “But if you liked something about ThunderCrypt and would like to donate a few cups of coffee, always feel free to do so,” before sharing a link. It’s hard to “like something” about a malicious software that locks up all your files, but one feels that the Taiwanese man might’ve just paid up. ThunderCrypt, not only have you hacked into our computers, you’ve also hacked your way into our hearts.