New ransomware locks files & asks victims to play PUBG game

Another day, another ransomware scam but this one is harmless since all you need is to play PUBG game to get your files back.

Usually, a ransomware attack is all about locking victims files for ransom. There have been countless encounters where cybercriminals have taken over systems and demand heavy ransom in Bitcoin cryptocurrency.

But the latest campaign aims at forcing the victim to play PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) game in order to get their files unlocked – Simply put if you are the victim all you need is to play PUBG for 1 hour rather than paying any ransom.

This campaign was discovered by MalwareHunterTeam who also shared the note that appears on the victims’ computer screens: “Your files is encrypted (sic) by PUBG Ransomware! but don’t worry! It is not hard to unlock it. I don’t want money! Just play PUBG 1Hours [sic] Or Restore is [s2acxx56a2sae5fjh5k2gb5s2e].”

New ransomware wants you to play PUBG game or it will lock your files

The PUBG ransomware only targets Windows users and apparently, it is quite easy to get rid of it by simply adding the restore code in the “Restore Code” section but in case you want to play the game for one hour that is completely your choice.

More: Robots can be hacked with ransomware & curse at customers

It is obvious that this ransomware campaign is being run by someone immature who are seeking to have fun rather than making a profit out of victims plight. However, this is not the first time when a ransomware asked users to play a video game rather than paying the ransom.

Last year, a ransomware attack targeted Windows users, locked their files and asked them to play a popular Japanese video game TH12 to get their locked files back. It also challenged victims to make a high score of at least 200 million points.

Although the PUBG ransomware is harmless there are highly sophisticated and dangerous ransomware campaigns targeting unsuspecting users worldwide. For instance, WannaCry ransomware that reportedly made a comeback last month after targeting computer system at Boeing’s production plant.

Therefore, users need to be vigilant and take proper security measure to protect themselves against malware attacks. Listed below is a comprehensive list of dos and don’ts that every web users must follow so as to ensure that they never fall prey to ransomware:

  • Install an anti-virus software and keep it updated
  • Always keep the firewall activated on the browser
  • Never share your personal information or any sensitive data online unless you are sure of the authenticity of the platform
  • Never click on suspicious links or pop-ups that claim how your system is infected with malicious programs, and/or you need to ‘click’ to clean it up.
  • Keep a backup ready, in case your data gets lost
  • Save your data in the cloud, it safeguards your files and makes data recovery easier.
  • Keep the operating system and other crucial applications on your computer up to date.

To learn more, you can follow our in-depth write up on How To Prevent Growing Issue of Encryption Based Malware)

Waqas

Waqas Amir is a Milan-based cybersecurity journalist with a passion for covering latest happenings in cyber security and tech world. In addition to being the founder of this website, Waqas is also into gaming, reading and investigative journalism.