The Extortion Economy Podcast: Exploring the Secret World of Ransomware
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? A new podcast from ProPublica and MIT Tech Review aims to find out.
ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published.
This podcast was produced with the MIT Technology Review.
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 five-part series from MIT Technology Review and ProPublica hosted by Meg Marco, a former ProPublica senior editor, 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.
This series is hosted by Meg Marco and produced by Emma Cillekens, Tate Ryan-Mosley and Anthony Green. It’s inspired by reporting from Renee Dudley and Daniel Golden from ProPublica. It's edited by Bobbie Johnson, Michael Reilly, Mat Honan and Robin Fields. The mix engineer is Erick Gomez with help from Rebekah Wineman. The theme music is by Jacob Gorski. Emma Cillekens is the voice coach. The executive producers of "The Extortion Economy" podcast are Meg Marco and Jennifer Strong.
Thank you for your interest in republishing this story. You are free to republish it so long as you do the following:
You have to credit us. In the byline, we prefer “Author Name, ProPublica.” At the top of the text of your story, include a line that reads: “This story was originally published by ProPublica.” You must link the word “ProPublica” to the original URL of the story.
If you’re republishing online, you must link to the URL of this story on propublica.org, include all of the links from our story, including our newsletter sign up language and link, and use our PixelPing tag.
You can’t edit our material, except to reflect relative changes in time, location and editorial style. (For example, “yesterday” can be changed to “last week,” and “Portland, Ore.” to “Portland” or “here.”)
You cannot republish our photographs or illustrations without specific permission. Please contact [email protected].
It’s okay to put our stories on pages with ads, but not ads specifically sold against our stories. You can’t state or imply that donations to your organization support ProPublica’s work.
You can’t sell our material separately or syndicate it. This includes publishing or syndicating our work on platforms or apps such as Apple News, Google News, etc.
You can’t republish our material wholesale, or automatically; you need to select stories to be republished individually. (To inquire about syndication or licensing opportunities, contact [email protected].)
You can’t use our work to populate a website designed to improve rankings on search engines or solely to gain revenue from network-based advertisements.
We do not generally permit translation of our stories into another language.
Any website our stories appear on must include a prominent and effective way to contact you.
If you share republished stories on social media, we’d appreciate being tagged in your posts. We have official accounts for ProPublica on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.