Short Bytes: Popcorn Time is a ransomware in development which opts for a strange but more dangerous mode to spread itself. It offers free encryption to the victim if he infects two other people using the referral link facilitated by the ransomware. It starts deleting the encrypted files if a wrong encryption key is entered by the victim.Ransomware chunking out an enormous amount of cash from people’s pocket isn’t something strange or new. But what if the ransomware makes an offer you can’t refuse, especially when hundreds of dollars are about to say goodbye to your bank account, just because some crap malware secretly encrypted all the data on your computer.
Popcorn Time is a ransomware named after the movie streaming BitTorrent client, but it doesn’t have any connection to it. Spotted by MalwareHunterTeam, Popcorn Time securely encrypts the data on your computer while displaying a fake installation screen, and asks $770 for ransom money. But before you become too helpless and finally decide to give money to the hackers to get the encryption key, it put up condition to allow free encryption for you.
You can save all of your money if you send the ransomware to two of your friends in the form of referral link.
Obviously, will you end up infecting their machines as well if you consider your data as more valuable than the money of your friends? You have the choice to spread Popcorn Time to some less friendly people or those douche bags who never miss a chance irritate you. Hopefully, you won’t do it.
However, here is the twist in the story. This not a free burger offer which you can use to hack someone’s Tesla car. The ransomware will only send you the encryption key when it receives payment from the other two guys who got infected via the referral link. There are chances the other two people would fall for the same offer and contribute to creating an unending chain.
Popcorn Time ransomware, reported by Bleeping Computer, currently in development, encrypts files present on the Desktop, My Pictures, My Music, My Documents. It targets every possible file extension you could think. The extension .filock is added to every encrypted file, for instance, myfile.txt becomes myfile.txt.filock after the encryption. After it finishes encryption, it creates two files (restore_your_files.html and restore_your_files.txt) containing the ransom note. It then displays the ransom message automatically.
You can make hit and trial attempts for the encryption key. If you enter the wrong key four times, all of your data will be deleted.
For a noble cause, are you serious!
The creators of the Popcorn Times ransomware are some computer science students based in Syria to arrange funds for supplying food and other needs to the poor people. They have apologized in the ransom note for their harsh actions.
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