Join authors Pulitzer Prize finalist Renee Dudley and local Pulitzer Prize winner Daniel Golden as they discuss their latest book, The Ransomware Hunting Team. Urgent, uplifting, and entertaining, Renee Dudley and Daniel Golden’s The Ransomware Hunting Team is a real-life technological thriller that illuminates a dangerous new era of cybercrime.
Scattered across the world, an elite team of code crackers is working tirelessly to thwart the defining cyber scourge of our time. You’ve probably never heard of them. But if you work for a school, a business, a hospital, or a municipal government, or simply cherish your digital data, you may be painfully familiar with the team’s sworn enemy: ransomware. Again and again, an unlikely band of misfits, mostly self-taught and often struggling to make ends meet, have outwitted the underworld of hackers who lock computer networks and demand huge payments in return for the keys.
The Ransomware Hunting Team traces the adventures of these unassuming heroes and how they have used their skills to save millions of ransomware victims from paying billions of dollars to criminals. Working tirelessly from bedrooms and back offices, and refusing payment, they’ve rescued those whom the often hapless FBI has been unwilling or unable to help. Foremost among them is Michael Gillespie, a cancer survivor and cat lover who got his start cracking ransomware while working at a Nerds on Call store in the town of Normal, Illinois. Other teammates include the brilliant, reclusive Fabian Wosar, a high school dropout from Germany who enjoys bantering with the attackers he foils, and his protégé, the British computer science prodigy Sarah White. Together, they have established themselves as the most effective force against an escalating global threat. This book follows them as they put their health, personal relationships, and financial security on the line to navigate the technological and moral challenges of combating digital hostage taking.