Having your smartphone or PC encrypted by ransomware is bad enough when you have to pay to unlock it. But a new type of malware has arisen, with a somewhat concerning demand. Spotted by the MalwareHunterTeam, it is being dubbed 'nRansomware'.
This new, rather shocking, type of attack demands nude photographs instead of bitcoin in exchange for a key to decrypt your files. Not much is known about the malware, but it is being treated as a legitimate threat by VirusTotal and Hybrid Analysis and spreads via a file called 'nRansom.exe'.
Although it is not known if it's just an elaborate prank or not, the ransomware demands 'at least 10 nude pictures' of the victim after forcing them to create a Protomail account, which will then be 'verified' as legitimate by the attacker. How this will happen is anyone's guess, but these need to be sent through to a specified email address after an initial exchange. Once verified, a code will allegedly be sent which then can be used to disable the malware - if you were brave enough that is.
The 'nRansomware' is quite haphazardly assembled, with a background of Thomas the Tank Engine, smiling with vulgarity superimposed on the image. Once run, it plays a looped version of the theme song from the HBO TV-show Curb Your Enthusiasm. Further information about this new "creative" malware is sparse at the moment, and it's not known how many people have been hit by this unfortunate attack.
Ransomware has become a concerning problem with several attacks being carried out over the past year including the notorious WannaCry outbreak, but more recently, an email campaign distributing Locky and FakeGlobal malware. A study recently found that victims have paid over $25 million in ransom payments to get access to their files in the past two years alone and it seems that now this will be extended to nude photographs.
To limit the reach of these malware types, it is recommended that you ensure that you always have an up-to-date version of your anti-virus, and of course, the latest version of your operating system.