Ransomware detection and elimination techniques have improved significantly over the past few years. Software is available now that will dramatically increase your chances of staying safe. This is not to say the war on Ransomware is being won. On the contrary, Ransomware developers have dug in their heels and seem intent on continuing their evil.
Is Ransomware that profitable? It is now a $5 billion dollar industry. The motivation for spreading malware seems to be all about the money, or why else would one bother?
A new strain of malware has experts asking that very question. The new Ransomware, called PUBG, behaves like most of the others. Your files are encrypted and made unavailable to you until the hackers’ demands are met, usually a payment of some size. You are then given a code that will hopefully reverse the encryption.
PUBG, however, makes a strange demand. It does not want you to pay out cash, but rather insists you… play a game!!
PUBG stands for Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds. It is an online game of the ‘last man standing’ variety. The hackers require you to play this game and insist you do so for at least one hour. The curiosity, is that there seems to be no obvious way that they profit from this assault. If you choose to pay for the game, that is done outside of any transaction with the Ransomware team. All they do is track the time you are in the game.
In fact, they don’t even know if you are in fact playing the game at all, or just running some program with the same name as the game. The ease with which one can defeat the hackers, leads us to wonder what the goal is of the PUBG attack? Is it just a joke, someone’s idea of amusement?
The fact that PUBG does not request money, and that it is so easy to deceive, makes it no less evil. Encrypted files can be corrupted when being reversed. The unsophisticated user will feel the need to spend money on the game, will waste time and will lose access to their data for the duration of the episode. The developers may find this amusing, but when caught, they should expect, and deserve, to feel the full weight of the law.