back to article Spanish cops cuff 11 for €1m-a-year ransomware scam

Spanish police have arrested 11 individuals suspected of running a €1m a year ransomware scam using malware that posed as a message from law enforcement. Law enforcement agencies in Spain first became interested in the Reveton malware after hundreds of complaints from victims of the scam starting flooding in at the beginning of …

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"Six of the cuffed suspects are Russian, two Ukrainian and two Georgian, but all of them were based in Spain, police said."

I would hazard a guess and say all of them were based in Puerto Banus.

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I know a million is a fair amount, but split 11 ways, even in Spain, thats not a huge sum of money. Lifes about risk and reward right? Most of us have a price for most things. If you have a chance to steal some money and the same risk of being caught irrespective of the amount, you are more likely to chance it if theres 100 million then if its 50 quid.

Either they are too stupid to believe they would get caught (like the bt copper rippers) or they have a very low price. Maybe it's just me but I always seem to find myself shocked at how little many of the criminals are making considering the risk they take.

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Anonymous Coward

"I always seem to find myself shocked at how little many of the criminals are making considering the risk they take."

Remember that story a few weeks back about two f***wit hitmen that got the wrong house and stabbed an innocent schoolboy to death? According to the BBC they were paid *£1000* each to kill the other man:-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-21374332

£2000 between the pair of them? Even disregarding any moral aspects- the reason ordinary (non-sociopathic) people wouldn't do this, regardless of the price- who the hell would murder someone for £1000?

Then again, the guy that hired them must be just as big a f***wit for choosing anyone who'd to it for £1000 and expecting them to be remotely competent.

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Pirate

@AC 14/02/13 13:24

I would agree on the whole that many of the criminals about whom we read do appear to be very "intellectually challenged".

Unfortunately that doesn't mean ALL the ungodly are cretinous morons:- I'm sure there must be very smart crims out there - we just haven't read of their exploits 'cos they're too smart to be apprehended or even discovered.

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Anonymous Coward

@Rampant Spaniel

"I know a million is a fair amount, but split 11 ways, even in Spain, thats not a huge sum of money. "

It is in Spain these days. With youth unemployment at 55% any amount is a huge sum.

Given the state of the Spanish economy, a cynic might claim these arrests have halved Spain's employment, and harmed an SME engaged in the export business. And a cynic^2 would see this as proof that immigrants take all the jobs.

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You are assuming 11 equal partners, when in reality most of those arrested are probably minor accomplices who were getting a few thousand Euros here and there for basic fetching and carrying. The main players would have been making several hundred thousand Euros a year each, which given this scam has been running several years could well have made them millionaires.

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Not a lot of money?

If they split evenly (unlikely) That's €90909 each or €7575 monthly. Given that the median wage in Spain is €1400 they should be able to live pretty well off of that. Of course, if they aren't living anywhere near Madrid, the money will go even farther.

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If criminals were capable and inclined to make sensible assessments based on risks and liekly rewards then they wouldn't be criminals.

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Some years ago the Economist crunched the numbers on gang members in LA.

Working at McDonalds would have doubled their take home pay.....

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Given the amount you can earn at RBS it would appear crime does still pay!

I know the guys at the top will be paid a lot more than those at the bottom (which doesn't really make it any better, it just widens the spread) and that things are pretty poor in Spain right now, I just find it crazy that people are willing to risk so much for a middle management wage? I guess we are all wired differently, but as mentioned above (the 2000 quid hitmen) some people are way off the other end of the bell curve. I guess Hollywood conditions us to expect billion dollar electronic bank heists etc rather than murdering someone for the price of a 10 year old base model Corsa.

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Anonymous Coward

Off topic: RSA Conference ad distracting

Does anyone else find the RSA Conference 2013 advertisement as annoying as I do? Makes me want to switch to text-only mode. It'll probably be gone by the time I am done typing. Sigh.

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FAIL

Million dollars a year?

My estimation from personally having to clean up this crap on others PCs is more like a million dollars a MONTH.

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Reveton?

John,

Curious why you say this is Reveton? Pretty sure this was NOT Reveton. Is this an assumption that "Police Lock" = Reveton? There are at least four copycat rings doing "PoliceLock" malware, but that are not Reveton. I haven't seen anything that would cause me to believe this was Reveton.

Thanks for the story though! If you have a reliable source calling this Reveton, please let me know! Would like to talk with them!

_-_

gar

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