PC users are being warned about a particularly nasty new strain of ransomware that could be set to infect a record number of devices.
The new virus dubbed Popcorn Time, locks you out of all the files on your computer and will only give you access to them on two conditions: the first being that you pay a ransom and the second that you promise to send the malware onto other users.
The Popcorn Time malware, which is not related to the popular online streaming service of the same name, was discovered by cyber security experts from MalwareHunterTeam, who say it is infecting devices at previously unseen rates, all thanks to its unique distribution and infection method.
Once the Popcorn Time malware has infected your computer you are faced with two ways unlock your files and reclaim your data.
The first is by paying a ransom via Bitcoin of approximately US$770 / 27,500 THB. This is the “fast and easy way”, claim the hackers.
However, you are also given a “nasty” option where the hackers will decrypt your locked files only if you send a malicious link to other people.
If two or more people then end up installing the Popcorn Time malware and paying the ransom, then your files are unlocked free of charge.
But that’s not all, Popcorn Time also offers one final surprise for users in that it promises to start deleting your files should you enter the wrong encryption code more than three times.
It is unknown exactly how many devices have been infected with Popcorn Time but experts have said that the spread of the malware appears to be worldwide and not limited to one particular region.
The hackers behind the malware have suggested that any funds raised from the scam will be given to good causes but have been very scant on providing any further details.
“We are extremely sorry that we forcing you to pay, but that’s the only way we can keep living,” said the hackers.
“The money you gave will be used for food, medicine and shelter to those in need”, they claimed.
Via: Bleeping Computer
Jonathan is our Google Nexus and Android enthusiast. He is also fanatical about football which makes it all the more strange that he should support Stockport County. In addition to writing about tech, Jonathan has a passion for fitness and nutrition and has previously written for one the UK’s leading watch and horology websites.