"ransomeware", not in OED3; GBooks 2005--

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Tue Nov 5 16:29:55 UTC 2013

Confused -- is it "ransomware", "ransomeware" or both?


On Tue, Nov 5, 2013 at 11:23 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:

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> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      "ransomeware", not in OED3; GBooks 2005--
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> Should be findable earlier than 2005, since Wikipedia says the first
> such program was 1989.
> A  term I had not heard before, until my local computer products
> store sent me an email warning which included as part of its advice
> about "prevention" to "Stay safe with an updated, lightweight and
> trusted ANTI-VIRUS".  (A come-on for ransome-ransomeware?  To be
> fair, they did not hype that, and offered additional no-cost advice
> for both prevention and cure.)
> For discussion, see the Wikipedia article.  Under "History", that
> article claims that "The first known ransomware was the 1989
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIDS_%28trojan_horse%29>"AIDS" trojan
> (also known as "PC Cyborg") written by Joseph Popp", but the usually
> useless Google Book search using dates gives me nothing earlier than
> 2005 -- http://tinyurl.com/k5ff2wb or
> http://issue-fix.com/windows/ransomware-removal.php?sq={QueryString}&mt=b&kw=%2Bransom%20%2Bware&ad=69&src=ggl
> That page's definition is curiously worded:  "Ransomware is
> ransomware that locks your computer by hampering its interface,
> blocking other programs or encrypting files (a process that makes the
> files unusable until they are decrypted). During this lockdown, the
> ransomware will issue an alert, often in the form of a pop up, that
> forces you to pay a fee to remove the lockdown."  [Perhaps the second
> "ransomeware" is simply a typo for "software".]
> Not in OED3.
> Joel
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