It is not too difficult to see where the world is going, as far as the future of technology and how we use it. “Smartphones,” “Smart TV,” and the world tech giants working on “The Internet of Things” to tie them all together.
Will all of this “smart” technology make the world an episode of “The Jetsons” (a popular 1960’s sci-fi American television cartoon depicting what the future will look like)? Will we all be better for it?
A new cartoon produced over the weekend shows a potential downside view of where this is all headed. Kind of “Idiocracy,” take on it, if you will.
Quite a Popular Sunday Cartoon
Those of us who are over the age of 30 remember when Saturday cartoons ruled the entertainment world for kids. Maybe this will be the start of a new trend for technical-minded adults. Launched at about 8AM ET on Sunday morning, the cartoon below had no problem racking up over 1200 upvotes from the r/Bitcoin crowd on Reddit within the first seven hours on the board.
Produced by JoyofTech.com, the cartoon is called “The Internet of Ransomware Things…” and it features all of a kitchen’s appliances plotting different individual holdups of their owner. The refrigerator will not unlock the door unless the owner “pays up.” The thermostat automatically turn up the heat until the owner “warms up my bank account,” and the coffee machine wants $20 sent to its PayPal account, or else it will “only brew decaf.”
Bitcoin is mentioned, directly, by the smoke detector:
“30 bucks in Bitcoin, or next time I smell smoke, I might just let you sleep.”
As well as the dishwasher:
“Your dirty dishes can wait. I’m busy mining Bitcoins.”
Bitcoin, unfortunately, is a natural fit for any ransomware story or cartoon. Bitcoin appears to be the leading currency of choice in this new era of ransomware, which has exploded within the last year, worldwide. Ransomware, for those that do not know, is when a hacker or cybercriminal generates a DDoS attack on a company’s computer systems, encrypting files and serves until a payoff is made.
Ransomware has been around for a generation, but the popularity of Bitcoin has caused a re-emergence of the crime, with criminals demanding anywhere from a fraction of a BTC to tens of thousands of USD worth of digital currency.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, ransomware attacks have gone up 300% in 2016, and are averaging about 4,000 attacks per day since the start of the year (not all Bitcoin-related.) Typical ransomware payments range from $500 to $1,000.
The victim is usually contacted by email “phishing” tactics over 95% of the time, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations has previously said to pay the ransom, but this year has changed their tune, wanting to get informed about any such attacks first.
“People have to remember that ransomware does not affect just one person or one business,” Bales said. “It will more than likely move on and affect somebody else. And for those who pay the ransom, it only encourages them to extort the next person.”