Ransomware isn’t something you’ll ever want on your computer and that’s why it’s important to be careful where you browse and what you click. Criminals are getting craftier and their attempts to trip you up are getting slicker. Now there’s a new report that some criminals are giving some ransomware victims a break, sort of. After the victim is infected with ransomware and their files are encrypted, the traditional “pay or us or lose your files” message comes up, but with a new option.
The new message gives the victim the option to have their files decrypted and released if they send a link to their friends with the same ransomware. Should two or more of your friends click the link, you will have your files back and you’re off the hook. It’s a pretty slick way to get their garbage pushed to more computers but you should also know that you could be held liable for aiding in criminal activity.
Bleeping Computer founder Lawrence Abrams discovered a ransomware strain called Popcorn Time (not to be confused with the Bittorrent-based video streaming app). Abrams notes that Popcorn Time is not yet active in the wild. Based on the look he got at its code, there’s still a lot of work left to be done. Critical communication functionality isn’t finished, and a server on the TOR network that’s referenced in the code doesn’t appear to be online yet.
Even with the knowledge that people could be held liable for aiding criminals, many people will most likely choose to give in to the demands. It’s understandable that it would be hard not to. The best thing for anyone not to be infected with ransomware in the first place is to police your own browsing and clicking habits. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. You have to increase your level of awareness when you’re on the internet but many people get too comfortable when they’re sitting behind the screen in their pajamas.
What do you think of this new scheme? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.[button link=”http://www.forbes.com/sites/leemathews/2016/12/09/ransomware-decrypts-your-files-for-free-if-you-infect-your-friends/#5cd721046a9c” icon=”fa-external-link” side=”left” target=”blank” color=”285b5e” textcolor=”ffffff”]Source: Forbes[/button]
Last Updated on January 23, 2017.