Aunt Lucy was almost in tears, while narrating this story, to the helpful guy at the local Computer Store.
I am just a simple old lady, and do not know too much about computers. All I use my laptop for is to send emails to my son, who lives in America, and now I lost everything. I feel like a part of me has died!
Relax aunty, I will do whatever I can to help. Tell me what happened, what did you lose?
Well, to an old lady, like me, memories are everything. I had stored thousands of photographs on my laptop. Then yesterday, my close friend Annie came over and I wanted to show her the photos of my newborn grandson, but I cannot open anything now. I keep clicking but I keep getting this message. You know my grandson is almost 2 years old now, and…
[Cutting short, aunty’s long-winded story] When do you last remember looking at these files. Did you download anything from the internet?
Young man, I am almost 70 years old, I have no idea what downloading is. But I do remember getting an email from a wealthy Nigerian prince, who desperately wanted some help. The poor dear was in misery, and I wanted to assist him, but I didn’t quite understand what I had to do.
Oh no, did you click on any links on that email?
No, none at all. All I did was click on a document that he emailed to me. Let me show it to you.
And then what happened?
After I clicked on this document, I got some “yes / no” button, which I didn’t quite read and then my computer restarted
Hmmm… Aunty, the email you received, was actually spam, basically someone trying to fool you. If you notice carefully, the file you clicked, is an executable file.
So, what does that mean, my photographs got ‘executed’!!! Why would someone shoot down my photos?
[Thinking] There is no point trying to explain, let me try and investigate. Seems like a ransomware, but does not look too advanced. Maybe I can help the sweet lady. I’ll keep one encrypted file for my own analysis. Plus, let me download this interesting looking jpg ransom-note.
You are a forensic expert, and have been requested to help the lady. For clues you may examine the evidences provided. Mission: Find the decryption password & submit it.
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