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New ransomware unlocks your PC – if you infect friends

A new form of ransomware has emerged online that promises to unlock your PC if you infect your friends with said ransomware.

Dubbed Popcorn Time, the malware lets you pay a ransom to unlock your PC. But if you’d rather not spend cash, you can send Popcorn Time to at least two other friends and have them pay a ransom.

If the friends pay a ransom, then your PC will be unlocked as well, Bleeping Computer and MalwareHunterTeam reports.

The new ransomware makes for rather astounding news, thanks to its friend-sharing “incentive”

It also appears that Popcorn Time has “unfinished code”, suggesting that entering a decryption key incorrectly four times will result in the malware deleting files.

Bleeping Computer reports that the malware encrypts files with AES-256 encryption, using a “.filock” extension. It adds that the ransomware has been updated in recent days, locking down additional folders such as My Documents, My Pictures, My Music and more.

Despite the name, Popcorn Time has no relation to the illegal streaming service with the same name. The other Popcorn Time gained notoriety thanks to the fact that it can stream movies and TV episodes using torrent technology.

Featured image: Christiaan Colen via Flickr

Author | Hadlee Simons

Hadlee Simons
Terrible puns make Hadlee Simons difficult to work with, but he brings almost seven years of tech journalism experience to the table. When he's not at work or watching motorsport, he's in the foetal position on a jiu jitsu mat. More