A new ransomware variant places mind games at the heart of its attack. Victims of the recently discovered 'Popcorn Time' malware are promised their files will be unlocked if they successfully infect two of their friends' computers.
The new attack is an escalation from online criminals trying to infect more and more machines.
Critical files are typically locked. ZDnet reports that documents, pictures, music and desktop folders are known targets in this attack.
How it works
The MalwareHunterTeam discovered the new ransomware earlier this month. Like other versions, users have seven days to pay one bitcoin (currently AUD$1041.49) to receive a decryption key that unlocks their files.
But the 'Popcorn Time' malware tempts their victim with an alternative, devious offer. If the infected user forwards the malware onto two more users who then pay the ransom, the malware promises to send a decryption key.
— MalwareHunterTeam (@malwrhunterteam) December 13, 2016
Don't share ransomware
It should go without saying, but do not share the malware with your contacts. Ransomware is strengthened by spreading quickly.
Instead take this moment to ensure you're current backup solution is sufficient. A well oiled-backup allows infected machines to be wiped, re-configured and running again with little downtime and data loss.
Plus there may be some serious legal implications for deliberately forwarding on malicious emails...
If you're concerned about ransomware and would like to see examples of successful attacks, see our current email security threats page.
Contact our Service Desk immediately at 1300 791 678 if you have been or suspect you've been compromised by malware