Renee Dudley and Daniel Golden at Harvard Book Store


The Ransomware Hunting Team:
A Band of Misfits' Improbable Crusade
to Save the World from Cybercrime


November 3, 2022
7:00 PM ET


Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138


This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes ProPublica reporters RENEE DUDLEY and DANIEL GOLDEN for a discussion of their new book The Ransomware Hunting Team: A Band of Misfits' Improbable Crusade to Save the World from Cybercrime.

A Return to In-Person Events

Harvard Book Store is excited to be back to in-person programming. To ensure the safety and comfort of everyone in attendance, the following Covid-19 safety protocols will be in place at all of our Harvard Book Store events until further notice:

  • Face coverings are required of all staff and attendees when inside the store. Masks must snugly cover nose and mouth.

About The Ransomware Hunting Team

Scattered across the world, an elite team of code crackers is working tirelessly to thwart the defining cyber scourge of our time. You’ve probably never heard of them. But if you work for a school, a business, a hospital, or a municipal government, or simply cherish your digital data, you may be painfully familiar with the team’s sworn enemy: ransomware. Again and again, an unlikely band of misfits, mostly self-taught and often struggling to make ends meet, have outwitted the underworld of hackers who lock computer networks and demand huge payments in return for the keys.

The Ransomware Hunting Team traces the adventures of these unassuming heroes and how they have used their skills to save millions of ransomware victims from paying billions of dollars to criminals. Working tirelessly from bedrooms and back offices, and refusing payment, they’ve rescued those whom the often hapless FBI has been unwilling or unable to help. Foremost among them is Michael Gillespie, a cancer survivor and cat lover who got his start cracking ransomware while working at a Nerds on Call store in the town of Normal, Illinois. Other teammates include the brilliant, reclusive Fabian Wosar, a high school dropout from Germany who enjoys bantering with the attackers he foils, and his protégé, the British computer science prodigy Sarah White. Together, they have established themselves as the most effective force against an escalating global threat. This book follows them as they put their health, personal relationships, and financial security on the line to navigate the technological and moral challenges of combating digital hostage taking.

Urgent, uplifting, and entertaining, Renee Dudley and Daniel Golden’s The Ransomware Hunting Team is a real-life technological thriller that illuminates a dangerous new era of cybercrime.

Praise for The Ransomware Hunting Team

"Meet the whitehats who unravel the baffling malware infesting our connected computers. Unsung and unpaid, these clever computer jocks rescue individuals, businesses, and governments." ―Clifford Stoll, author of The Cuckoo's Egg

"The Ransomware Hunting Team is a tour de force of investigative reporting, with more twists, turns and shadowy figures than any spy thriller. Renee Dudley and Daniel Golden take you deep inside the hidden universe of ransomware hackers and heroes―and some who may or may not be both. It’s a breathtaking true tale that’s astonishing and disturbing―and irresistibly readable." ―Joanne Lipman, bestselling author of That's What She Said and former editor in chief of USA Today

"Dudley and Golden take us behind the firewall and into the fire―Ransomware―that's about to engulf everyone who owns a computer. They put flesh and bones on the 1s and 0s by decrypting the human stories of the cyber attackers, their victims, and, most of all, the civilian sleuths around the world who've become unexpected superheroes of the cyber realm. Whether you're a layman or a lawman, this is a must read." ―Frank Figliuzzi, former assistant director for counterintelligence at the FBI and author of The FBI Way

Daniel Golden
Daniel Golden

Daniel Golden

Daniel Golden, a senior editor and reporter at ProPublica, has won a Pulitzer Prize and three George Polk Awards. He is the bestselling author of The Price of Admission: How America’s Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite Colleges—and Who Gets Left Outside the Gates and Spy Schools: How the CIA, FBI, and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America’s Universities.

Photo Credit: Claudio Papapietro

Renee Dudley
Renee Dudley

Renee Dudley

Renee Dudley is a technology reporter at ProPublica. Previously, as an investigative reporter at Reuters, she was named a 2017 Pulitzer Prize finalist for her work uncovering systematic cheating on college admissions tests. She started her career at daily newspapers in South Carolina and New England, and has won numerous journalism honors, including the Eugene S. Pulliam First Amendment Award.

Photo Credit: Ryuji Suzuki

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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