A new anime ransomware has been discovered that, instead of asking for money, wants for the user to play an anime shooter game to unlock their smartphones.
The ransomware story, however, has a weird twist to it. It wasn't created to extort money- but rather, as a joke. By a Korean student- no less. He fell asleep after creating it and realised he had infected his own device as well as those of thousands of others when he woke up. However, he soon created a work around and now is spending all his time apologising for the monster he seems to have created.
Usually ransomeware locks out a user from the content on their devices, phones, laptops, tablets and PCs all have bespoke malware that are usually capable of extorting vast amounts of money. However, in this version of ransomeware, being called 'rensenware' as a pun on the 2009 shooter's Japanese Anime title - Touhou Seirensen, users are presented with a lock screen asking them to instead play a game.
And it is no simple game at a beginner level either. To retrieve their data, Tvple Eraser, the creator, wants users to play the bullet hell shooter Undefined Fantastic Object and score over 200 million points on the game's "Lunatic" level.
"I distributed source code except compiled binary on the web. However, at the point of the distribution, the tragedy was beginning. Maybe It's okay if I remove the encryption/decryption logic before I distribute the source code. then rensenWare can be treated kind of joke program. but I didn't. A number of people blamed me. It's natural. because I made accident definitely wrong. So I pulled down the source code of the rensenWare from the Github, and made this tool. I hope this tool can help the ones who are already affected by rensenWare."
Being faced with an image of 'Minamitsu 'The Captain'- an anime girl with a chilling message is sure to alarm everyone and the flippancy with which the episode is referred to by the author is even more alarming. Although Tvple Eraser embedded a grovelling apology in a Rensenware "forcer" tool, the danger from it remains that it could be used as a base to create actual ransomeware that is capable of extortion.
Additionally, he has also taken down the original Rensenware source code from the creator's Github page. However, once on the internet, always on the internet.