The only way to get rid of Popcorn Time ransomware is by infecting others' By: Khushaar Tanveer
2 minute read
popcorn time ransomware

There have been so many ransomware reports in 2016 that we have lost count. Most of them follow a typical approach:

  1. Infect a victim’s computer through email spam, false redirects or by hiding behind some software installer.
  2. Encrypt system files.
  3. Demand a ransom in exchange for a decryption key.

The most recent encounter, however, is one of a kind. The Popcorn Time ransomware is found to be asking its victims to spread the malware. “How does it exactly do that?” you may think.

How does the Popcorn Time ransomware spread itself?

A group of corrupt digital hackers have created a fiendish computer superbug that will encrypt all the files on their hard drive, meaning they are impossible to access.

First, we would like to clarify that this ransomware has nothing to do with the popular online streaming app. However, the ransomware does capitalize on its popularity. It is speculated that the creators of the ransomware had planned all along to feast on Popcorn Time’s popularity for their own dishonest actions.

The Popcorn Time ransomware was first discovered by security experts at MalwareHunterTeam. The researchers claim that its decryption method is a particularly unusual one. And the only way to make it go away is by infecting a couple of other users. There is another choice offered to the victims: Pay a ransom in Bitcoins. What makes it interesting is that victims are offered a free option if they infect other users. So in short, give one bitcoin (equal to $780) or take a more sinister road.

When a user agrees to either of those conditions, they are given a key. The key is entered in a blue screen that pops up after the ransomware has infected a computer. There is another twist to this. You get only four attempts to enter a key. If you fail, there won’t be a fifth time and all of the decrypted files on your computer will go away for good.

Users are offered a relatively short span of time to take action. The timeline to earn a decryption key lasts only for a week.

Who created it?

Another interesting piece of information that the MalwareHunterTeam provided is that the group of cyber criminals are science students of Syria, a war torn country where uncountable deaths have occurred over the past five years. The hackers display a note that reads:

“We are extremely sorry that we [sic] forcing you to pay, but that’s the only way we can keep living”

Researchers were also able to determine that the ransomware is still under its development process, so it is highly unlikely for the software to permeate in the near future.

Some Related Stories:

For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patended Technologies (requires upgrade).


Next up

Best Windows 10 antivirus software to use in 2018

By: Radu Tyrsina
7 minute read

Update – 2018 will soon come to an end and we already have a guide on what is the best antivirus you should get in […]

Continue Reading

These features are out for good with Windows 10 version 1809' By: Sovan Mandal
2 minute read

Microsoft is all set to launch its next big update, Windows 10 version 1809 in October. While that should be a nice piece of news […]

Continue Reading

Windows 10 18H2 builds no longer receive new features

By: Matthew Adams
3 minute read

The Windows 10 October 2018 Update (otherwise 18H2) rollout might now be two to three weeks away. For the last few months, new build previews […]

Continue Reading