A ‘joke’ ransomware dubbed rensenWare had users play a game instead of asking for money as its developer reportedly released it “by mistake”. This forced those affected by the code to play a Japanese anime shooter game and beat a high score in order to regain access to their files and media.
Following its reportedly accidental release, the code creator released both a solution and an apology note for those affected by his program.
RensenWare Had Users Play Undefined Fantastic Object’s “Lunatic” Level And Beat A 200 Million Score
Usually, ransomware victims are asked for a monetary transaction in order to recover access to their user files. Instead, this new code had them play the Undefined Fantastic Object and its “Lunatic” level. In it, they would have had to score over 200 million in order to regain access to their data, which would have required expert skills.
The unusual rensenWare was reportedly created as a joke by a Korea-based student. Reportedly going by the name of Tvple Eraser on Twitter, this stated that he released the code on GitHub as “a joke”. The ransomware quickly spread as the student was allegedly bored and fell asleep.
It also reportedly infected its source computer as well. As the coder noted its spread, he quickly released a tool that neutralized the ransomware. This lets the user bypass rensenWare’s encryption and skip playing the game in order to recover their files. It worked by manipulating the game’s memory, in case the user got infected.
This tool was then uploaded on GitHub as well, along with an apology note, issued by the student.
“I’d like to apologize [to] everyone for making [them] shocked or annoyed. […] It didn’t [mean] to be evil. I hope you understand.”
According to reports, the user also took down the original rensenWare version and left a ‘cut’ version. This will allow users to see the code, but will not force them to play the game.
Image Source: Flickr