A security firm has posted an apology on Twitter that is going viral on social media. In the text, Malwarebytes jokingly said they are "deeply sorry" for using the photo of a "hoodie hacker" in one of their articles on the blog. The article talked about how ransomware-as-a-service is evolving and why it is a threat to businesses. Published on October 27, it said that ransomware attacks are becoming more frequent and costlier, with the average cost of destructive attack rising to $5.2 million.
Malwarebytes said on Twitter that they operate a "zero-tolerance policy" towards hoodie hacker photographs.
"We strive for higher standards than this, such as using pictures of the word "ransomware" spelled out with letters cut from magazines, pictures of padlock, or photographs of people looking at their laptop screens with shocked faces," the statement said.
"An intern has been chosen to take the blame and HR is in the process of informing them of the mistake they are now responsible for," it further said.
The tweet left users in splits. "How do you feel about using suits of armor in advertisements for security software?" commented one user. "I can't believe how many aren't getting this is a joke," tweeted another.
Ransomware attacks are increasing across the world. Earlier this month, Microsoft said in a blog post that a newly discovered hacking group attacked transportation and logistics companies in Ukraine and Poland with a novel kind of ransomware.
The attackers targeted a wide range of systems within an hour, Microsoft said.
Ukraine has been the target of numerous cyberattacks by Russia since the start of the conflict in late February, according to western security researchers and senior government officials.
A ransomware is a type of malicious software that is used to block access to computer until a sum of money is paid. While some simple ransomware may lock the system without damaging any files, more advanced variants leave the affected computer unusable.