Evil New Ransomware Will Let You Go Free... If You Infect Two Other People

By James O Malley on at

Pic: Here.

A new type of ransomware has been spotted by researchers that will let you get out of paying a fee to get your files back: All you have to do is infect other people.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software - the idea is that if you get infected, it'll lock up access to your files, and will only decrypt them so you can access them again if you pay the attackers a fee (usually using Bitcoin, because it is untraceable). But now according to IBTimes, a new strain of "Popcorn Time" offers a get out: A referral link.

Just like how referral links can be used to earn yourself a little extra Uber credit, or free extra space on your Dropbox, the idea is that if you can encourage (or trick) two friends to sign up and get infected with the malware, it'll unlock you for free.

The evil new software was first uncovered by Bleeping Computer, who say that if you enter the wrong decryption key four times, your files will be automatically deleted - and that if you want to pay up, it'll cost you 1 bitcoin, which is currently valued at around £600.

This new mechanism is clever, as it could encourage users to share their referral link, speeding up the spread of the malware. It's sort-of genius, in a completely evil way.

If you have been affected, we recommend checking out Avast's ransomware decryption tools, as they might be able to help you out. [IBTimes]