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Computer ransomware

Harddisk space is kidnapped until ransom is paid
  [vote for,

Assuming that 1 GB of hard disk space cost $ 30, a piece of software costing $ 15 will blow up in size to take up additional half a GB. Once payment is received, the half a GB of space is released. The dollar amount is for illustrative purpose. "Ransom" is just an analogy. The concept can be applied to mean "less-than-optimal-performance-ware" or "if-you-pay-i-give-secret-key-to-unleash-bonus-and-hidden-and-kidnapped-functionality-ware"
cocobk, Apr 09 2004


       Ransoming the space to the user over a single piece of s/w - they could just delete it. But if many different programs bloated gradually with sophisticated inflation algorithms, you may have a subversive ploy for those with interests in the disk industry to sell more. Hang on..wouldn't just forcing you to upgrade to the latest Windows do this?
dooper, Apr 09 2004

       Your numbers are a bit off, you can buy hard disks for about $1 US per Gigabyte currently.
krelnik, Apr 09 2004

       So, Windows XP on my machine uses about $1.59 worth of hard disk space. Applications take another $1.78 worth. Oooh, yeah, I'm so worried about bloat.
bristolz, Apr 09 2004

       I thought I remembered reading at one time that scemes for commiting crimes where not allowed and should be M-F-D. However I couldn't find such a statement in the help section. Did I just imagine it the first time, or did that change?
scad mientist, Apr 09 2004

       I think [cocobk]'s figure of $30/GB is unrelated to actual hard disk cost. It is just a figure, for an example piece of 'ransomware.'   

       You pay me $30, you get your GB back. Could be $10 or $100 just as easily.   

       That said, I don't think the idea would work on anyone that already commented, but would work on most computer "users."
swamilad, Apr 09 2004

       [scad] No, they are not forbidden. I advise against them in my newbie guide however. Maybe that's where you saw it?
krelnik, Apr 09 2004

       But why would I pay $30 to get a Gig back, when I can buy a new hard drive for $1 a Gig? The economics make no sense. MIght as well just let the software use the space.
krelnik, Apr 09 2004

       <Dr. Evil> "and then, we'll ransom the entire capacity of the internet for 100 billion dollars!" </Dr. Evil>
Cedar Park, Apr 09 2004

       Um, isn't this ransom scheme what WINDOWS already does, except NO CONVENIENT WAY to get your gigs back?   

       Just a thought.
oldvan, May 28 2004

       I can see a huge potential for a trojan like attack on this basis. Encrypt some of the targets data and offer a ransom on the data. If the user ignores you that is fine they don't get their data back without paying some one. If they pay up presumably you would have to price it at roughly the cost of a good firewall as that is what people are prepared to pay without a fight to keep their data. I suspect that this would be considered criminal activity but if it was targeted and payment was made through an anonymous method then presumably it could be controlled enough to not attract too much press. And the encryption could be customised to make it a pain in the neck to decrypt each time and hence much more expensive than the ransom.
PainOCommonSense, May 28 2004

       Fascinating to see PainOCommonSense predict ransomware as we now know it, I think over 10 years before even lame implementations existed.
Loris, May 31 2017

       And [cocobk] should be credited with coining the word //ransomware//
pocmloc, May 31 2017

       The original idea should work for trials. Install a cheap or free but (known to be) bloated trial version of the software, then once you've decided you want to keep it, and you're low on disk space, pay to get the space back. If you don't like it just delete it.
caspian, Jun 01 2017


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