PEBCAK

Ransomware Demands High Score, Not Bitcoins

Ransomware has become quite the scourge for cybersecurity pros. One new form of ransomware isn’t asking for bitcoins, though; instead, it’s demanding that its victims reach a ridiculously high score in an anime-style shooter game.

Darlene Storm writes, “Never underestimate what a person can come up with when he or she is bored as was recently highlighted by the accidental release of a ransomware that required victims to reach an astronomically high score on an anime-style shooter game instead of paying an outrageous ransom in bitcoins.

“The Malware Hunter Team was surprised to discover Rensenware; they said the ransomware did not ask ‘for any money, but to play a game until you reach a score—and it’s not a joke.’

“Victims who wanted their files decrypted were required to score over 200 million points in the ‘lunatic’ level of the game TH12 ~ Undefined Fantastic Object.

“The ransom demand on the lock screen stated: ‘Minamitsu “The Captain” Murasa encrypted your precious data like documents, musics, pictures, and some kinda project files. It can’t be recovered without this application because they are encrypted with highly strong encryption algorithm, using random key.’

“As for how the files can be recovered, the creator of Rensenware wrote: ‘That’s easy. You just play TH12 ~ Undefined Fantastic Object and score over 0.2 billion in LUNATIC level. This application will detect TH12 process and score automatically. DO NOT TRY CHEATING OR TERMINATE THIS APPLICATION IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BLOW UP THE ENCRYPTION KEY.’

“The Malware Hunter Team, however, noted that victims could edit their scores without consequences.”

Read on to see who came up with this unlikely ransomware and the (accidental) reason why.