Do you want to play a game?
That's the question posed by a novel piece of ransomware that challenges victims to achieve a high score in a video game instead of demanding cash to unlock files.
"Minamitsu 'The Captain' Murasa encrypted your precious data like documents, musics [sic], pictures, and some kinda project files," a pop-up from the malware, called Resenware, reads. Research focused Twitter account MalwareHunterTeam tweeted screenshots of Resenware on Thursday.
Victims allegedly have to obtain a certain high score on Undefined Fantastic Object—a classic style, Japanese vertical shooter—on LUNATIC difficulty.
Resenware's pop-up claims the malware will detect someone playing Undefined Fantastic Object and their score automatically. MalwareHunterTeam confirmed in a Twitter direct message to Motherboard that the malware does indeed check that the game is running. But if someone did get infected by Resenware, they may want to quickly grab a copy—one Amazon listing only has three copies of Undefined Fantastic Object in stock.
"Shmup enthusiasts who hunger for something new being brought to the table in terms of gameplay mechanics will be disappointed, but those enthusiasts seeking a challenge sure won't be!" a very enthusiastic fan wrote about a demo version of the game back in 2009.
A YouTube clip allegedly shows someone playing a stage of the game on LUNATIC difficulty, and, well, it gets pretty intense.
"DO NO TRY CHEATING OR TERMINATE THIS APPLICATION IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BLOW UP THE ENCRYPTION KEY," the pop-up continues.
But that threat is a bluff anyway. According to MalwareHunterTeam, there are no consequences from editing your score from within the game, a flaw that prompted the Resenware author to release a tool to remove the malware, along with an apology.
"Ransomeware [sic] is defentely kind of highly fatal malware, but I made it," the creator wrote, according to a screenshot posted by MalwareHunterTeam.
"I made it for joke, and just laughing with people who like Touhou Project Series," the author added. "Once again, I apology to everyone. I'm really sorry."
I'd rather just pay the hackers some money, please.