Ransomware and the Postman..!

All over the world people look at their computer screens waiting for Ransomware or some cyber terrorware to pop out and devour them and their computers. In a home one evening, a father looked at his two children and sighed, “I guess we’ll have to go back to the postmen age!” he said.

"What’s a postman, dad?” asked his little daughter, "sounds like a postmortem?"

"Or posthumous?" giggled her brother.

"Postmen," continued the father seriously, "delivered mail!"

"Like email? Press enter and off it went?”

“Well not exactly,” sighed the father, “Postmen picked up mail from post offices, got onto cycles, then went from home to home delivering the letters!"

“You mean there was no need to open the computer? No need to look into your mailbox?” asked both the children with excitement.

“When there was mail, the doorbell rang and it was delivered in your hands!” said the father proudly.

“Why ever did we get out of such a cozy system?” asked his son. “Imagine, all we needed to do was answer the door!”

“What a nice place the world was!” sighed both the children, “No hackers, no spyware, no ransomware!”

“And how was mail sent dad?”

“Well you wrote it, stuck the sides of the envelope then walked to a postbox and dropped it in!” said the dad warming up into a nostalgic mood.

“I don’t understand!” said his daughter, “Why would you drop it in a box?”

"Ah, well a postman took those letters to a post office, sorted all of them out and sent them to railway stations where mail trains took those letters to places where other postmen picked them up and delivered them home!"

“Wow!” said both the children.

"And how long did all this take dad?" asked the daughter.

"It was supposed to take a day or two, but most often took a week, sometimes a month, and in a few instances a letter was delivered decades later!"

The children gaped at their dad in disbelief.

“And,” continued their dad happily, “The postmen were reliable men, so reliable that on Christmas, New Year and other festivals, they came to your doorstep, asking to be rewarded for being so trustworthy. They came with big grins and open palms and you always put something in them!”

“And if you didn’t?” asked his daughter.

“Then you would find your letters dropped all over the road, or find them reaching you after a year, or not at all!” smiled the father, “But we all paid the postman!”

“Dad!” said his son slowly, “So what’s the difference between today’s ransomware and yesterday’s open palms? Both extort money, don’t they?”

“And,” said his daughter, “I would rather face a cyberattack, then have mail delivered after two weeks!”

“That’s true,” said the father slowly, “Nothing’s changed! Snailmail might have evolved into email, but human nature’s the same..!”

Robert Clements is a newspaper columnist and author. He blogs at www.bobsbanter.com and can be reached at bobsbanter@gmail.com