PewDiePie, the famous Swedish Youtuber, is no stranger to controversy. This time he is in the news after a user, who claims to be his fan, released a ransomware with a note that reads ‘Subscribe to PewDiePie’.
According to The Independent, the ransomware PewCrypt is designed in such a way that it locks people from accessing their data. The ransomware claims that users will not get back their data until PewDiePie gets 100 million subscribers on YouTube.
“If T-Series beats PewDiePie the private key will be deleted and your files gone forever!” the report said quoting the threat that appears on the ransomware.
In ransomware attacks, the hackers manage to get a virus installed on the target computers by sending infected links or attachments. Once a target clicks on the link or downloads the attachment, the virus encrypts the data and demands money to provide the encryption key.
However, in this case, the developer has designed the ransomware exclusively to generate more subscribers for PewDiePie’s YouTube channel.
“Initially, the creator stated in the ransom note that the decryption would not be released unless PewDiePie reached 100 million subscribers, meaning if that didn’t happen then people would have no means of decrypting their data,” the report said quoting Michael Gillespie, a researcher at cybersecurity firm Emsisoft.
Emsisoft has developed and released a decryption tool for PewCrypt which allows the affected users to take back control of any compromised data.
Coming to the PewDiePie bit, the YouTuber is currently locked in a battle with India-based channel T-Series over subscriber base. T-Series has over 91.9 million subscribers, while PewDiePie is just behind with around 91.8 million plus subscriber base. His fans have been posting messages asking users to subscribe to the channel so that it can beat T-Series.
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