Malware is old hat – unsuspecting users click on an innocent-looking attachment or link, get locked out of their computer(s), and access is restored only when the victim pays a certain amount of cryptocurrency – typically, Bitcoins – within a specified time period. But, as with many other things, innovation comes in here too, though not quite how you would have imagined it.
nRansom, a newly-discovered malware, demands naked photographs of the victim! Once the victim’s computer is infected, the following message pops up:
“Your computer has been locked. You can only unlock it with the special unlock code. Go to Protonmail.com and create an account. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will not respond immediately. After we reply, you must send at least 10 nude pictures of you. After that we will have to verify that the nudes belong to you. Once you are verified, we will give you your unlock code and sell your nudes on the deep web.”
The message is displayed on top of a background comprising images of Thomas the Tank Engine, a fictional children’s character, along with the writing “F*** YOU!!!” in bold.
It is currently not known how many users have actually been infected with the nRansom malware. It does appear to be genuine, though, with the nRansom.exe file classified as malicious by a number of antivirus engines.