The Extortion Economy

Ransomware is proliferating across the country, disabling computer systems and harming critical infrastructure — hospitals, city governments, schools, even an oil pipeline. The technology that enables ransomware may be new, but extortion and ransom are not. So why is this happening now? And can it be stopped? In this 5-part series from MIT Technology Review and ProPublica we look at the money, people and technology behind the explosion of ransomware that is delivering hundreds of millions of dollars to cybercriminals around the world. Hosted by Meg Marco.

Technology
News
Business
1
Part 5: File Not Found
The problem of ransomware has many causes but no clear solution. What's coming next?
15 min
2
Part 4: The Extortion Industry
We look at the reasons ransomware is so hard to solve and ask hard questions about who is really helping the victims.
18 min
3
Part 1: The Problem
A new-age iteration of the old-age extortion problem.
21 min
4
Part 2: The Bad Actors
In an absurd contract, look into the criminal world where the stakes are high, but the methods are increasingly business-like and meet the people who interact with the ransomware hackers.
22 min
5
Part 3: All Cats, No Mice
After the Colonial Pipeline payment, the FBI followed the money and cybersecurity researchers followed the ransomware group. We followed both.
18 min
6
Welcome to The Extortion Economy
Trailer
2 min