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A hacker has revealed some of the scariest things he's ever seen on the dark web from 'destructive attackers' who 'want to see the world burn'.
The man, who once considered himself a 'black hat' meaning that he wasn't bound by any kind of ethical code, now refers to himself as a 'white hat'.
A 'white hat' will apparently work to improve the greater good and who are bound by the law. He therefore explains that he looks for vulnerabilities in systems that could pose a 'significant risk'.
The bloke, who has over 30 years' experience as a cybersecurity analyst told VICE: "I also do things like hunt the criminals who are targeting hospitals or who are targeting the businesses that I'm looking out for."
Speaking about ransomware - a malicious software designed to block someone's access to the computer system - he said: "[It] is an attack technique that's been around for decades.
"Modern ransomware is usually a piece of malware that gets on your system, encrypts all of your data and then holds that hostage demanding that you contact the gangs that are operating it, paying them in some form of currency before they'll give you the key that decrypts your data."
Speaking about some of the things he's witnessed, he continued: "I've watched hospitals get encrypted and people are left with a choice: do I pay to decrypt the data of do I risk lives?"
He went on to explain how hacking has changed over the years: "Back when it started ransomware was charging hundreds of dollars, maybe thousands of dollars for individual targets.
"The bigger payouts that we're talking about now are easily into the tens of millions. This last, most recent attack, they offered $70 million dollars for the campaign key, which is the key that would have unlocked every single computer encrypted during that attack. So we're talking high-stakes games here."
Speaking about what the future will hold, he said: "I don't think we have to worry too much about our nuclear arsenal being taken over movie style and used against us. But I do think we have to worry about major impacts to financial markets or potential impacts to things like electricity production facilities."
You can watch the full video on VICE's YouTube channel here.
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