A brand new method for ransomware virus decryption has come about – but it’s something you probably wouldn’t want to join. Dubbed “Popcorn Time”, this malware program encrypts your computer files unless you pay a bitcoin (equivalent to $1,037 Australian Dollars at the time of writing).
However there is also a fairly ingenious (but evil) way if you don’t want to pay. Referral programs and multilevel marketing (MLMs) work all the time – so why not with ransomware? Popcorn Time comes complete with a referrals program to help pay it forward. If you share the link with two other people and they become infected, then the original victim will receive a free ransomware decryption key. If not, victims have seven days to pay the bitcoin ransom.
How Popcorn Time works is that it will pretend to appear as an official Windows program installation. Similarly to other ransomware variants, when Popcorn Time is runnning it will display a lock screen to do with the installation.
According to malware researchers, the source code is ever-evolving. If a victim enters tries their luck by using a random decryption code that may be out there on the internet 4 times, the ransomware will start to delete your computer files. The encryption covers desktop folders, as well as music, pictures, and documents. It also will encrypt the most popular file extensions.
The mastermind behind Popcorn Time claims to be a Computer Science student in Syria who has lost his parents and family in 2015. His team claim that are sorry that they have to do this but it the only way that they can keep living to buy food, medicine, and shelter for those in need since the world is ignoring their plight.
Please note that this ransomware is not associated with the Popcorn Time application which downloads and streams copyrighted movies.