back to article Romanian 'ransomware victim' hangs self and 4-year-old son – report

Reports have claimed that a Romanian man who committed suicide recently had been the victim of so-called "police" ransomware which falsely informed him he needed to pay a fine for downloading porn or risk going to jail. Marcel Datcu, 36, from the village of Movila Miresii, hanged himself while holding his four-year-old son in …

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Anonymous Coward

I'd question his mental state prior to the ransomware if that was enough to put him over the edge, but that's irrelevant, the scum doing this need destroying.

What a waste, lives lost and a family destroyed, all for nothing.

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no need

you didn't need to be AC to post that it was a fair comment.

Sad loss, i know people who have personally paid to have this removed and then come to me later when it doesn't resolve the issue. It is a horrible way to scam people out of their money.

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Pity

It's unfortunate that in a circumstance like this, the fact that deaths resulted from the illegal ransomware activity won't result in a murder conviction for those responsible. The laws need to be tightened up.

Of course, as long as Russia remains in possession of nuclear weapons - which got into its hands as a result of illegal espionage activity against the United States - it won't be possible to really deal with all these types of crooks.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: no need

"you didn't need to be AC to post that it was a fair comment."

That's why you need to be AC. Fascists on the other hand have nothing to worry about.

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Re: no need

This is what can annoy me about el reg sometimes. why did Lionel's comment deserve 2 downvotes? 2 people actually disapproved of his comment so much

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Anonymous Coward

Re: no need

its their fault for using windoze.

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Tragic...

..but shouldn't governments with the help of local media notify and advise citizens about these types of scams?

Sure, one can question the "mental state" of the victim here, but scammers never take the financial, mental or physical state of people into consideration when targeting them with these "ransomware" scams.

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Unhappy

Re: Tragic...

Mental health care is shocking in the UK, doubt Romania is much better either. Only in the last few years has it even started to be talked about in this country.

And, no disrespect intended, but is it me or is this kill myself and my kids a relatively new thing. I'm sure it's only in the last decade it seems to be happening more and more. I really don't remember it being that common before that

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I do not think it is new

What is new is that it is reported more widely. A decade ago, people in the UK would not have heard about something like this happening in Romania.

One 'reason' a husband kills the wife and kids is because he 'knows' they cannot survive without him. When that kind of man decides his death or imprisonment is inevitable, he kills his family so they do not suffer from his absence. Sometimes the wife feeds the husband's belief in the dependency because it reduces his fear that she will dump him. In return she knows he is not out having an affair because he is too busy looking after her.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Tragic...

Sadly 'Filicide' Killing one's son or daughter followed by Suicide is not new. I know a family where the mother killed her four children (all under 7) then committed suicide whilst depressed. This was in the 1960's

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide

http://www.uk-sobs.org.uk/

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Re: Tragic...

I suspect events like this are indeed, not new. What is new is: People hear of such tragedies from around the globe in this 'information age'. Back in the day, unless it was in your own country, town etc., you probably were not made aware of it. News travels fast. Tragic news travels faster.

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Silver badge

If people are starting to die from it . . .

. . . then maybe we're going to start to see some true international cooperation from police forces concerning this disgusting problem.

When it was "just" a question of money, international borders were amply sufficient to keep criminals in one country from legal trouble in another (anonymity and all that). Now that it is becoming a question of lives, I doubt that our esteemed legislators are going to be able to waffle about the issue any more.

And since we're already under active surveillance by just about every government that has Internet access, don't come at me with lame excuses like "we can't find them". If you're abusing our right to privacy, you could at least do something useful with that power. Well, useful to us that is.

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Re: If people are starting to die from it . . .

I agree, but when did the powers that be ever do anything that does not increase there sense of power. Morality is a word not in their vocabulary.

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Re: If people are starting to die from it . . .

Ah, but then they'd have to supply evidence to the prosecution thereby confirming what we all know and/or suspect.

They (politicos) might possibly be convinced to do it if such evidence were given to a secret court because legislation like that would be very handy for other cases.

On balance I doubt they (security services) would want to do it even in that situation because they'd be giving internal security operational capabilities to people outside their control. Leaks will be inevitable.

Of course they can find them. It isn't in their interest to do so. Sometimes the police might get a tipoff dumped in their lap but I bet that pisses them off greatly because at best they get to find enough physical evidence to prosecute but otherwise they get left looking like idiots.

Hmm, today must be a cynical day. Same old.. same old.

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Holmes

Next steps

1: Locate scum who wrote malware

2: Arrest same

3: File murder charges

4: Everybody profits!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Next steps

Sadly it's not murder, I wish it could be, but murder would mean the ransomware was made with the intention of killing people rather than extorting money. It's manslaughter they'd be looking at, and I hope they are found guilty of.

IANAL.

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Re: Next steps

You could make a case for murder not just manslaughter. Intentions mean nothing, it's the results that matter.

The ransomware effectively put the man in a frame of mind the same as pulling a trigger.

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"Intentions mean nothing, it's the results that matter."

You're letting your emotions get the better of you.

In murder, intention is EVERYTHING.

Even if you pull a trigger and kill someone, that is not necessarily murder. It could be self defence, it could be mistaken identity and end up as manslaughter.

Have a look at the ongoing Pistorius case. That is in South Africa, but most jurisdictions will have similar laws.

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A logical problem with a physical answer

ref ransomware writers/operators - a very 'ing large and dense bludgeon - to death, multiple times

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Silver badge

Re: A logical problem with a physical answer

How do you bludgeon some one to death "Multiple times"?

I get the first time... but I don't think you can double kill some one.

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Re: A logical problem with a physical answer

You are technically correct but think of the satisfaction :-)

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Silver badge

Re: A logical problem with a physical answer

Fair enough, have the resus team on standby!

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Anonymous Coward

Complete over-reaction

Most of the previous comments seem to have come from the DM, ex. "maybe we're going to start to see some true international cooperation". "Locate scum who wrote malware..."

One person has taken his own life and that of one of his children and suddenly you expect the government and police to start taking notice. 419 scams have been going on for years, people have lost lives and fortunes, to some official bodies the latter is more important. Has anything been done about them? Yet you think one death from ransomware is going to change the world.

To top yourself over what you have on your hard disk seems to indicate that this man was either not all there to start with, not that this makes his life worth any less, or maybe he did have some unsavoury content on his PC and was afraid of an investigation.

And get this into perspective, people die for many reasons yet no action is taken, 200+ people die every year in the UK from falling into rivers or lakes yet you don't hear about it, it's not newsworthy. Get an internet connected death these days and it's all over the news as if people never died before the internet.

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Re: people die for many reasons yet no action is taken

Someone falling into a river is often just an accident. This story is about someone committing suicide because of ransomware, somebody else did something malicious which triggered this. "Man pushed into river" is considered more newsworthy than "Man falls into river".

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Tragic..

Simply thing to do is find the person who is linked to the account receiving the money...remove their genitalia..problem solved

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Tragic..

Absolutely incredible how naive some people can be.

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WTF?

Re: remove their genitalia..problem solved

Really? How? The malware servers are administered by penis?

What a stupid thing to say.

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Re: remove their genitalia..problem solved

> Really? How? The malware servers are administered by penis?

> What a stupid thing to say.

Well, if removal were done with a dull rusty chainsaw, and televised live. It might be a pretty good deterrent.

Just a thought.

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@El-Fev ... you don't live anywhere near the east end of the A66 by chance?

I can't see how they can get payment without being traced. I know CryptoLocker uses bitcoin but I don't think the police ones do.

I also wish those horrible people at Microsoft would do an update where the default "Hide known extensions" is not ticked.

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"I also wish those horrible people at Microsoft would do an update where the default "Hide known extensions" is not ticked."

If i could upvote that 1000 times, its the first thing I change on a fresh install.

Especially when you cant trust the icons to tell you the filetype when you can take your malware.exe and set its icon to look like the windows folder icon/pdf icon etc

That stupid preselected option has alot to answer for.

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Anonymous Coward

Just like if you visit loose women, you have protection, or risk getting infected.

It is sad this 'innocent' got conned, panicked, and wasted his and a child's life, however he should have known to protect himself on those risky sites. I bet he was running an old IE or the open sore that is Flash. Sadly some people don't have the discipline to keep internet applications up-to-date, so ALL vulnerable programs and plugins should have a built-in kill switch triggered by a countdown timeout since last update check, or failure to apply a detected update, then nag while disabled until they are updated.

From what I see so far, Linux (Mint 16) provides updates across all application unlike Microsoft, can often update without reboots, and thus is probably much harder to hijack! Chocolatey and other automated installation/update tools are part of the way there for Windows; however it really needs to provide proper native support for many software repositories, and not just Microsoft's WSUS ones!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just like if you visit loose women, you have protection, or risk getting infected.

Really, you are just a dickhead with absolutely no compassion. Drop dead. Stop posting anti windows shite that won't happen.ALL O.S. are at risk from this, wether he visits porn sites or NOT.

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Re: Just like if you visit loose women, you have protection, or risk getting infected.

Trolled thoroughly it looks like. Almost of Captain Janks proportions.

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