Re: I actually am surprised
Really, I have no idea why you are surprised. Perhaps you're just an exceptionally honest person who finds it hard to imagine that some others, when you come right down to it, have the souls of rodents.
Bear in mind that those inflicting ransomware are (allegedly) members of our species who knowingly and deliberately destroy the contents of innocent civilians' computing devices. They know perfectly well that your baby photos and rare video clips of the kids growing up and vital documentation—perhaps lifetimes' worth of treasured stuff—wil be lost. That they are causing distress, worry, wasted time, lost work and even heartbreak. Victims will include singles and couples, parents and grandparents, teenagers and kids.
They do this to steal money. Not even for some twisted ideology of politics, or culture, or even nationalism. Not because of a personal belief. Just for money. Like pigs jostling at a trough, heedless and animal. Just. For. Money.
El Reg frequently uses the phrase "ransomware scum", which seems mild, really, for the witless, greedy cruelty of such people. They are morally equivalent to the kind of soulless filth who lurk in dark alleyways to club a granny for her pension money. It amazes me that such people can bear to see themselves in a mirror. Let's be honest: if they do not feel crushing shame for what they do, they are mentally broken vermin.
I suspect "honour among thieves" is just an empty phrase. A bit like the Sicilian Mafia calling themselves "men of honour" for their ability to conduct murderous feuds against other men's children. When someone claims "honour" it's time to count the spoons.
And as is often noted in politics, which often attracts troublingly similar characters: rats aren't always easily identified. Some rats talk nicely. Many rats wear nice suits. Some can write code. They're all still rats, though. Best not to expect anything except rat behaviour.