“Your Money or Your Life”

“Your Money or Your Life”

The saying, “Your Money or Your Life,” comes from the dreaded Highwaymen who were “as common as crows” between 1650 to 1800 in rural England. Travel was already hazardous due to the absence of decent roads and a lack of general rule of law. No one rode alone without fear of being robbed. In fact, travelers often wrote their wills before hitting the road.


Your phone is your life.

Not only when you consider all the time you spend on your phone (about 4.5 hours a day), but all the things that you keep in it. Think about it – 1) how would you call anyone since you have not memorized a number in a decade? 2) add all your banking, health, work, and social information; and then 3) it is now your electronic ID/ primary authenticator among everything else. What would you do if your phone disappeared? Is it the end of your life as you know it?


The 21st Century Highwayman.

Bring up ransomware and everyone knows what you are talking about thanks to the 21st Century Highwaymen who are shutting down hospitals, factories, power plants, and banks. Only your imagination limits what they attack next – and your phone is on that list.


It Happened, Now What?.

The dreaded ‘YMCA’ Ransomware attack has hit your mobile phone. It locks the phone, and it plays an un-ending loop of ‘YMCA’ by the Village People. Sure, ‘YMCA’ is fine in small doses – but not endlessly. You can make it stop – just pay the Highwayman!! Your ransom? Send $1,500 in Bitcoin to some random account. After all, it’s “your money or your life.”

Hold on, you say. This is not my fault! It is the hardware, an app, or the carrier allowing the bad bits get to me! The Highwaymen are not stupid, and the Highwaymen undertake rolling attacks of the ‘YMCA’ ransomware – hitting random manufacturers in dispersed geographic regions to keep the problem on the user. None of the hardware, app or carrier players are going to pay your ransom, but they will pay dearly in brand damage for failing to even attempt to prevent attacks with tools adoptable today from the folks at Cog Systems. Not to be cynical, but why would you even ask for help from the hardware, app and carrier providers?

No insurance exists for the attack of the ‘YMCA’ ransomware – it is on you. But at least you have a choice: 1) Pay the ransom ($1,500); or 2) Buy a new phone ($1,200) and then reinstall and configure your apps.

“The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Who would have thought that an aphorism by Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr from 1850 would still carry so much relevance today? The dreaded Highwayman to the ‘YMCA’ Ransomware attack separated by just 200 years.

The ‘YMCA’ Ransomware attack is coming.

Did you write your will?