16 episodes

The Ransomware Files podcast tells the harrowing stories of technology experts who have fought back against ransomware, which is one of the greatest crime waves the internet has ever seen. It features in-the-trenches stories about how organisations recovered and frank human reflections from those who have faced file-encrypting malware, a potent weapon used by high-tech criminals.

The Ransomware Files Jeremy Kirk, Executive Editor, Information Security Media Group

    • Technology
    • 4.8 • 6 Ratings

The Ransomware Files podcast tells the harrowing stories of technology experts who have fought back against ransomware, which is one of the greatest crime waves the internet has ever seen. It features in-the-trenches stories about how organisations recovered and frank human reflections from those who have faced file-encrypting malware, a potent weapon used by high-tech criminals.

    Thank You

    Thank You

    After 13 episodes and one guest episode, The Ransomware Files project has come to a close.  I want to thank everyone who participated and supported it. I wish this project had come to an end because ransomware was no longer a problem. Unfortunately, that's not the case. It remains one of the internet's greatest crime waves. I hope some of the main motivations I had for this project live on. There should be no shame heaped on organisations that are attacked and held to ransom. But let's also be open to talking about how these events happen in a constructive way so we can all improve our information security practices. Thank you.

    • 1 min
    Unproven Data Recovery

    Unproven Data Recovery

    What if you were hired for an office job but ended up negotiating with cybercriminals? There aren’t many rules around the cybercrime known as ransomware, but this is a story about one rule that was definitely broken. By the end it, the path to the truth lead to a place on the other side of the world. It was a place that no one expected and disturbingly, no one wanted to be.

    Speakers: Renee Dudley, Technology Reporter, ProPublica, and co-author of "The Ransomware Hunting Team"; Jeremy Kirk, Executive Editor, Information Security Media Group.

    The Ransomware Files theme song by Chris Gilbert/©Ordinary Weirdos Records.

    Other music by Blue Dot Sessions.

    Follow The Ransomware Files on Twitter: @ransomwarefiles

    Follow The Ransomware Files on Instagram: @theransomwarefiles

    • 33 min
    The Adult Boutique

    The Adult Boutique

    Dain Drake was CEO of United Structures of America, a steel fabrication facility outside of Houston. In June 2019, Dain found himself standing outside an adult boutique in Houston at 10 AM on a Sunday morning. It was closed. He called the owner and pleaded for him to come and open the shop. He needed something inside, which might just save his business – from ransomware.

    Speakers: Dain Drake, former CEO, United Structures of America; Jeremy Kirk, Executive Editor, Information Security Media Group.

    A transcript for this episode is here.

    Production Coordinator: Rashmi Ramesh.

    The Ransomware Files theme song by Chris Gilbert/©Ordinary Weirdos Records.

    Other music by Blue Dot Sessions.

    Follow The Ransomware Files on Twitter: @ransomwarefiles

    Follow The Ransomware Files on Instagram: @theransomwarefiles

    • 24 min
    Guest Episode: The Storm

    Guest Episode: The Storm

    The Ransomware Files is pleased to host a special guest episode from our friends at Hacked. In mid-April, there was a ransomware attack. It wasn’t against a small business. It wasn’t directed at a large company or even a large city. It was against a country: Costa Rica. The Conti ransomware gang struck more than two dozen government bodies in Costa Rica in a wave of attacks. It was a demonstration of power and bravado with a motivation that appeared to go way beyond the usual aim of collecting a ransom.

    Speakers: Jordan Bloemen, Co-Host, Hacked; Scott Francis Winder, Co-Host, Hacked; León Weinstock, Director, BLP Legal; Jeremy Kirk, Executive Editor, Information Security Media Group.

    Follow Hacked on Twitter: @hackedpodcast

    Follow Hacked on the web: hackedpodcast.com

    Follow The Ransomware Files on Twitter: @ransomwarefiles

    Follow The Ransomware Files on Instagram: @theransomwarefiles

    The Ransomware Files theme song by Chris Gilbert/©Ordinary Weirdos Records

    • 36 min
    Dr. Ransomware, Part 2

    Dr. Ransomware, Part 2

    Is a practicing cardiologist living in Venezuela also a ransomware mastermind? If U.S. prosecutors are to be believed, Moises Luis Zagala Gonzalez is a cybercriminal polymath. He’s on the FBI’s Most Wanted list for cybercrime, but people who know him say the accusations cannot be true. Zagala is charged in federal court in New York with developing ransomware applications called Jigsaw and Thanos that infected organizations and companies around the word. But Zagala’s wife says there’s a reason for her husband’s predicament. How does the evidence stack up against her claim?

    Speakers: Alexander Mindlin, Assistant United States Attorney, Eastern District of New York; Thomas Holt, Professor, School of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University; Anthony Martino, Director, Northeast Cyber Security Forensics Center, Utica University; Ana Vanessa Herrero, Journalist; Jeremy Kirk, Executive Editor, Information Security Media Group.

    Sources and transcript for this episode are here.

    Special thanks to Ana Vanessa Herrero in Caracas for reporting and research that contributed to this episode. Thanks also to ISMG’s Tom Field, David Perera, Alexandra Perez, Mathew Schwartz and Anna Delaney for production assistance. Thank you to Intel471 for sharing cybercrime intelligence useful for this episode.

    Production Coordinator: Rashmi Ramesh

    The Ransomware Files theme song by Chris Gilbert/©Ordinary Weirdos Records

    Other original music by Chris Gilbert, Finley Kirk and Jeremy Kirk

    Additional music by Podcastmusic.com and Uppbeat.io

    Follow The Ransomware Files on Twitter: @ransomwarefiles

    Follow The Ransomware Files on Instagram: @theransomwarefiles

    • 44 min
    Dr. Ransomware, Part 1

    Dr. Ransomware, Part 1

    The FBI’s Most Wanted list for cybercrime has a recent entry: Moises Luis Zagala Gonzalez. He is a 55-year-old cardiologist living in Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela. He has a bald head and an earnest smile. In one photo, he wears a doctor’s white overcoat with a stethoscope around his neck. What is this man doing on that list? U.S. prosecutors allege Zagala lead a double life. They allege he’s also a cybercriminal. Zagala is charged in federal court in New York with developing ransomware applications called Jigsaw and Thanos that infected organizations and companies around the word. They claim his hacking career stretches back to the late 1990s when he was part of an expert reverse software engineering group. Who is Moises Zagala, and why does the U.S. think he’s a ransomware mastermind?

    Speakers: Alexander Mindlin, Assistant United States Attorney, Eastern District of New York; Lindsay Kaye, Senior Director, Operational Outcomes, Insikt Group, Recorded Future; Thomas Holt, Professor, School of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University; Ana Vanessa Herrero, Journalist; Jeremy Kirk, Executive Editor, Information Security Media Group.

    Sources and transcript for this episode are here.

    Special thanks to Ana Vanessa Herrero in Caracas for reporting and research that contributed to this episode. Thanks also to ISMG’s Tom Field and David Perera for production assistance.

    Production Coordinator: Rashmi Ramesh

    The Ransomware Files theme song by Chris Gilbert/©Ordinary Weirdos Records

    Other original music by Chris Gilbert, India Kirk and Jeremy Kirk

    Additional music by Podcastmusic.com

    Follow The Ransomware Files on Twitter: @ransomwarefiles

    Follow The Ransomware Files on Instagram: @theransomwarefiles

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

Sarah_Jane_Smith ,

Technical enough, relatable & fascinating

As a technology professional who has worked in security engineering I find a lot of online doom & gloom, and hard-edged cynicism.

This was a story about humans, about what had gone wrong.

It has enough technical focus that I know the facts & can asses accuracy; but hearing about the real world detail is what makes it riveting.

Definitely worth a listen.

cromulentnyaan ,

Excellent insights

In infosec breaches are still deemed as a failing of a company rather than a crime committed against them and very few talk about it. This podcast has provided so much behind the scenes, how things happened, what companies did, how they communicated and it’s delivered clearly with people directly involved.

Xx3Nick3xX ,

Great podcast for Cyber interested people

Super interesting podcast - Jeremy really goes into the finer details of incidents and it’s excellent having those involved on the podcast tell their side of the story.

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