Would You Infect Another Person With Ransomware To Unlock Your Own Files?

Would You Infect Another Person With Ransomware To Unlock Your Own Files?
Image: Screenshot by MalwareHunter
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We’ve heard about ransomware that operates as a franchise. Now there’s a ransomware that runs a referral program; infect two other people and you’ll get to unlock your files for free. Here’s the million-dollar question: Would you do it?

The ransomware is called Popcorn Time and it encrypts files on Windows computers then gives victims two options to unlock their files:

  1. Pay a ransom of around $US800 within seven days
  2. Infect two other users by sending them a malicious link to click on

It’s pretty evil, but the criminals behind Popcorn Time obviously believe some people will go with option two; victims may have no qualms sending the link to their enemies and will be given a free decryption key if two or more people click through and become infected.

So we want to know: Would you spread ransomware to people you don’t like just to unlock your own encrypted files? Tell us in the comments and give us your reasoning.

[Bleeping Computer]


  • Step 1: make 2 dummy emails

    Step 2: make 2 dummy virtual machines

    Step 3: unleash package on virtual machines

    Step 4: unlock own files

    Also Step 0: don’t be an idiot and open unsafe crap and get ransomwared in the first place

    Edit: looks like those 2 people would have to pay the ransom in order for the scheme to work

  • Hate to say it, but thats impressively evil. A ponzi scheme for malware, thats somewhat voluntary. Theres no guarantee that both the two you send it off to will pay out, so you’ll probably need multiple levels of the pyramid before you see your two required payee’s kick in.

    By which point there might be another 16, 32, or mre people all with the same problem. Thats just straight up nasty.

  • where im at, at the moment, i would probably send it on, coz im in some financial shit at the moment. but more than likely i would probably do the suggestion above with the virtual machines.

  • From the Bleeping Computer article – they can also try to infect two other people and have them pay the ransom in order to get a free key.
    So infecting VM’s or simply properly-backed-up computers won’t get you your key- All you’re doing is doubling the scammer’s money each time

  • I wouldn’t trust them to unlock my files even if two others did pay up so no I wouldn’t take part in that scheme.

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