Ransomware is a crime in which hackers gain access to a victim’s computer network and demand payment to return control to the owners. Victims range from individuals all the way up to huge companies and even entire cities. Part of the agreed-upon arrangement in ransomware, says cybersecurity expert Charles Carmakal, is that hacker gangs promise to abide by the deal and not simply seize control again tomorrow or release embarrassing data even if the victim pays. But as this crime becomes more mainstream, unscrupulous hackers join in, many with no intention of honoring a deal. Carmakal says victims could pay the ransom and yet still see their data leaked. Such unreliable criminals could give hackers a bad name.
The people of Judah in Isaiah’s day had turned to magic spells and astrology to bring them good fortune and protect them from calamity. But the prophet sought to turn them back to the Lord. He delivered God’s warning that soon a disaster would come upon them that they could not dispel with their magic nor ward off with any ransom. All such protections would prove futile and unreliable in the end.
- Which aspect of computer technology do you like best? Which do you like least?
- What do you think of the notion of honor among thieves?
- When have you given up on something unreliable in exchange for more faith in the Lord?