12-27-21 | Blog Post

How Ransomware is Spreading: Popcorn Time

Blog Posts

Ransomware is already a $1B cyber-crime industry and is projected to grow even more, partially due to its emerging tactic, called “Popcorn Time”.

What is Popcorn Time?

The Good News: Popcorn Time allows you to avoid paying your ransom after your systems get infected. But wait, these are cyber-criminals we’re talking about here, so you can bet your bottom dollar there’s going to be a catch.

The Bad News (AKA The Catch): Popcorn Time is now asking for referrals, in exchange for a decryption key. Essentially, you can avoid paying the ransomware all together if you infect two other businesses for them. Once payment from the other two businesses is received, then everyone gets their decryption key.

Ransomware is Becoming Like Social Media

Great! You just got hacked by a few Syrian cyber-terrorists, and can’t access your business-critical data. You’re panicking as you lose thousands every hour in downtime costs. But then you get a message that looks like this:

Restoring your files – The fast and easy way

To get your files fast, please transfer Bitcoin to our wallet. When we get the money we will immediately give you your private decryption key. Key should be received about 2 hours after payment made.”

You then begin to panic and realize this isn’t a dream. This is real, and you have now entered the negotiation stages. There has to be another way, you ponder, so you continue to read further down the message to see this:

Restoring your files – The nasty way

Send the link – below to other people, if two or more people will install this files and pay, we will decrypt your files for free.”

You are then given a link that you have the option of forwarding out to all of your friends, family, business partners, etc., in attempt to get them to pay the ransom for you.

They’ve successfully added another layer of guilt to the equation. They know you are more likely to just pay the ransom now, because you think it’s going to a good cause. Just be careful what you believe though, as there is no proof that this message wasn’t sent from someone in Dallas TX, or even your next door neighbor.

Decision Time

Hurry! There’s no time to waste! You are experiencing downtime and that is costing you more than just a huge check.

This is a tough position to be in. Do you partake in the spread of the malware or do you bite your tongue and just pay the hackers?

The Bottom Line

If you have the luxury of not being infected yet, take the opportunity to protect yourself with backup and disaster recovery. It really isn’t that hard, and it could save you the downtime costs, the dreaded moral dilemma and disheartening terrorist negotiations.

We have a plan that will fit your business, so take 5 minutes to learn about the only four things you’ll need to protect yourself from Ransomware!

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