A new malware locks infected computers' files unless they fire up PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. Unlike other ransomware, PUBG Ransomware doesn't want infected users' money; it just wants them to enjoy a game of Battlegrounds.
PUBG Ransomeware. Image: Bleeping Computer (Lawrence Abrams)
MalwareHunterTeam first discovered the malware, which BleepingComputer originally reported on. When a computer is infected by ransomware, the software makes its files inaccessible until the computer user does something in exchange. A message typically explains the ransom, which, in some instances, can be up to millions of dollars.
PUBG Ransomeware's note reads: "Your files is encrypred [sic] by PUBG Ransomeware! But don't worry! It is not that hard to unlock it. I don't want money! Just play PUBG 1Hours [sic]!"
Malware experts have confirmed to me that PUBG Ransomeware actually does lock down computers' files, but it's pretty easy to get around. The ransomware only encrypts users' desktop files and unlocks them after three minutes of a game of Battlegrounds as opposed to the stated hour, which is about the amount of time it takes to get headshotted in Battlegrounds' more populated areas. Also, according to malware expert Lawrence Abrams, there are a few other easy workarounds for folks who don't want to play Battlegrounds (maybe because they prefer Fortnite). For starters, the ransomware provides an unlock code if you just can't be bothered. Abrams also added that, since it looks like PUBG Ransomeware is still in development, "It is unsure if it will ever be spread or is simply being made as a joke."
Let's be real, though: A few of us might be secretly hoping PUBG Ransomeware gets mainstream so we have an excuse to fire the game up at work.