You may love eating popcorn or getting it when you go see a movie but there is a type of popcorn you will want to avoid at all costs. Ransomware has been around for many years but in the past few years, it has started becoming more and more popular. There is a new kind of ransomware you should be aware of, however, and that is the Popcorn Time Ransomware.
Just like any other type of ransomware attack, the Popcorn Time Ransomware strain is known to encrypt files on systems or networks, hold those files for ransom, and demand payment for them to be released. There are new strains of ransomware released regularly and this is the most recent one that experts have identified. The details are different with each strain and with the Popcorn Time Ransomware attack, it seems that targets have seven days to pay the ransom, which is a minimum of 1 bitcoin, in order to get the decryption key. With this new strain, once the deadline has passed, the decryption key is forever lost, as are the files. One new twist with this strain, however, is that there is another option. Instead of paying the ransom, the infected individual could intentionally infect two other individuals or businesses in order to get their files back. If individuals or businesses fall for this scheme, it could lead to a popcorn affect, which is where the name of the strain comes from. It also appears that the hackers are a group of computer science students from Syria, as that is what is phrased on the pop-up message. They say they are using ransomware as a way to get money for aid and supplies.
There is not validation as to who is really conducting these attacks but it is critical to protect yourself from it. One of the best ways to protect yourself is with a backup of all of your files on a regular bases. That way, if you are the victim of an attack, you can recover your own files without falling victim. Make sure you have anti-virus and anti-malware protection. Any time there is a new update to your systems, download them immediately in case there is a patch included. Be aware of suspicious emails and never click any links that you do not know are legitimate. Use your instincts and do everything you can to protect yourself from any type of cyber attack. There is no 100 percent guarantee that you will not become a victim so it is imperative that you know what to do when it does happen. The new way the hackers are looking for victims is unique but you should never provide information of two others so you can get your files back. That will only result in more issues over time. Backing up your files is the best form of defense in these cases so you do not lose money or your files.