A ransomware has started spreading recently which has locked people’s access to files on their computer. The hackers, however, are not demanding money as is usually the case with ransomware. Instead, they want people to play the popular battle royale game Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds.
PUBG is the originator of the Battle Royale craze that has taken over the online gaming scene over the past few months. Although not as red hot as it once was, mostly due to the immense popularity of Fortnite, PUBG is still played by millions of people around the world across multiple platforms. It’s the second most popular game in stores right now behind Fortnite.
What the ransomware does
Ransomware is a special type of malware/virus that encrypts users files and basically locks people out of their own PC files. As the name suggests, people are usually required to pay a certain amount of money in order to decrypt and regain access to their files. One of the most famous examples of this was the recent ransomware attack that locked out a lot of people from their computers. The hackers demanded ransom in the form of Bitcoin, which is a very expensive price to pay.
However, this ransomware is different, it seems to be more like harmless fun. This one encrypts people’s files and appends them with the “.PUBG” extension rendering the files inaccessible for users. However, money is not what the hackers are demanding in this case and it’s fairly simple and straightforward if you want to quickly unlock your files which is why this ransomware may be considered harmless fun.
Unlike traditional ransomware, in order to unlock your files, you must play PUBG which is why the ransomware is appropriately named the PUBG ransomware. According to the message given by the malware, people affected by it must play PUBG for at least one hour before they can reobtain access to their files. However, many people have pointed out that if you just fire up the game on your computer, the files will automatically start decrypting.
Furthermore, if the affected person is already a player of PUBG, they don’t even need to start the game then. There is a secret code embedded inside the ransom note that apparently only PUBG players are able to understand. If you can interpret the code, you can enter it and gain full access to your files without having to turn the game on. However, that’s definitely not as fun as playing the game for a while.
As mentioned already, the PUBG ransomware looks like harmless fun but it can be annoying to find out you’re locked out of all your files even though it’s pretty a straightforward task to decrypt them. However, let the PUBG ransomware attack serve as a lesson and reminder to never download from untrustworthy links. It’s also recommended to keep a good security software as well that would prevent the malware from affecting your computer. Consider yourself lucky that this ransomware only demanded you to play PUBG, the next one could be as bad as the one that wanted payment in Bitcoin, so it’s always better to play it safe.
This recent ransomware attack was interesting, to say the least. It’s also a good way to give more people exposure to PUBG, who’s lagging behind its rival Fortnite. However, it might not have been so effective as things like these can easily rub people the wrong way, especially those who haven’t bought a copy of PUBG. However, given that it was not mandatory to play the game, it wasn’t that bad.
The game itself is about to get more exciting as its about to get a new War mode which is essentially a team deathmatch style of game mode but mixed with the gameplay and approach of PUBG.