New Ransomware Will Unlock Your Files If You Infect Your Friends

This is a new one. I’ve come across a new type of ransomware that has an interesting twist to it. Sure you can pay the one Bitcoin to unlock your files. But you could get your files unlocked for free. Here’s how:

In a move that we have not seen with any other ransomware, the ransomware developer offers a “nasty way” for a victim to get a free decryption key by having them help to spread the ransomware. If two people become infected via the victim’s “referral” link” and pay the ransom, then the victim will supposedly get a free key.

Well that’s delightful. Assuming that they hand out the key of course once you infect your friends. One other thing, if you try to unlock a computer infected by this ransomware and get it wrong four times, the ransomware will allegedly delete your files. Scary stuff indeed. Finally, the people behind this claim to be from Syria and “all the money that we get goes to food, medicine, shelter to our people. We are extremely sorry that we are forcing you to pay but that’s the only way that we can keep living.” I call BS on that personally as I think that is meant to make you more likely to pay the one Bitcoin to get your files back.

Here’s my advice in terms of not being a victim of ransomware:

  1. Always have a current backup. I back up daily and have four weeks worth of backups at any given time.
  2. If you get infected, simply reformat your hard drive and restore the last non-infected backup. In my case, I can go back four weeks if I have to to find a non-infected backup.
  3. Declare victory and have a beer.

All this does is cost you time and not your hard earned money. Because it’s better that you spend your money than some cyber-criminal scumbag.




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