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Dangerous New Malware: Popcorn Time

Recently, MalwareHunter detected a new malware currently in development. All computer users are at risk. This malware is called Popcorn Time. Popcorn Time seeks to devastate users in three stages. First, it locks users out of their computers. Then, it demands payment. If payment is not received, all data is stolen and deleted.

What is Popcorn Time

Popcorn Time is the name of a specific form of ransomware. Ransomware is a type of malware seeking to elicit money or favor out of unsuspecting users. This ransomware in particular demands bitcoin. Bitcoin is a computer-driven monetary method. A single bitcoin is currently equivalent to about $800 USD. Not all ransomware operates on bitcoin.

What does Popcorn Time do?

Screenshot of Popcorn Time ransomware

Computers are infected when the user clicks a link to the malware. Infected computers will show the above screen as it locks users out of all files stored on the computer. The computer becomes useless for seven days. The target decides whether to pay the ransom. If the target cannot pay,  another option is available. The target may also spread the malware to other computers.The link must be sent to two or more people to meet the demand.

Once demands are met, a decryption code is sent to the target. However, the time allotted by the malware is important. If the time expires all files on the computer are stolen and deleted. If the decryption key is entered incorrectly, all files are stolen and deleted.

How is it spread?

As previously stated, The second option for “payment” of the ransom amount is sending a link of the malware. If the link is clicked, the computer becomes infected. Popcorn Time is spread by other people. The people spreading the virus are already infected. At risk places include email and social media accounts. Anywhere a link can be posted is a likely target. Because this malware is spread by other people, anyone with a computer is vulnerable.

How can users protect themselves?

  • Do not click unknown links (even when sent by close friends).
  • Exercise caution when using social media and email accounts.
  • Back up all files on an external hard drive regularly.

Although this malware is still classified as “in development”, it is important for users to remain cautious when  on the computer. The best protection is prevention.

A safer experience with Lotus

Although our computers run Windows and are equally vulnerable to malware such as the Popcorn Time ransomware, Lotus is known for helpful and friendly service that can help users avoid attacks like these. We’re happy to share our knowledge with our customers and offer tips on how to avoid malware. We also offer Linux-based computers that are all but immune to such attacks. If you don’t know how to protect yourself online, then our friendly computer experts will help you learn how to stay safe online. Can your other PC brand say the same? Experience the Lotus difference today!