A new strain of ransomware has appeared that threatens to encrypt and delete every file on your computer if you don’t educate yourself about the dangers of ransomware.
Known as the Koolova ransomware, this particular strain will restore encrypted files free of charge and all the user has to do is to read two articles about ransomware.
Michael Gillespie, a security researcher, spotted the strain which, once on your machine, is capable of encrypting files and displaying a screen that informs the victim that they must read two articles before they will be provided with access to the decryption key.
Users are given a time limit and if that reaches zero before the two articles are read it will delete the encrypted files.
The articles that need to be read are; Stay Safe While Browsing, an article from the Google Security Blog, and a post on the online community site BleepingComputer about the ransomware called Jigsaw.
Once the articles are read, a button appears marked Decrypt My Files, once pressed the ransomware opens a decryption key for the machine.
Fortunately Koolova is not thought to be ready for a large scale release, and has been described as a work in progress.
Although this ransomware sounds like a bit more of a laugh than others that demand a financial cost to unlock files, Koolova should be taken seriously as it will still encrypt and delete files if its demands are not met.
The good thing is that the demanded ransom is safe, both articles contain no harmful information or further traps that could harm the machine.