A new and particularly devious type of ransomware has emerged, with the added option of infecting your friends as an alternative to payment. The malware, known as Popcorn Time (no relation to the streaming app), locks your files until you pay the ransom of one bitcoin, currently USD $780.
However, a get out of jail free card is available. Entitled ‘The nasty way’ of restoring your files; sharing the link with your friends and contacts in the ‘hope’ that at least two others will pay up, will purportedly allow you to decrypt your files for free.
The ransomware, discovered by MalwareHunterTeam, resembles other malware in terms of infecting your computer and encrypting key files on the hard drive. However, the twist comes in the social, or in this case, anti-social, aspect of the ‘referral scheme’ option. It has also been reported that the ransomware may begin deleting files if the incorrect decryption key is entered four times.
If you encounter this malware, the consensus of advice is not to participate in the ‘referral scheme’ by passing the link on to others, though the views regarding making payment are mixed. Best of all is to avoid infection in the first place.