The Chaos ransomware is attacking Minecraft players seeking to obtain alternative accounts to cheat or circumvention bans, according to new research.
Microsoft’s Minecraft is one of the most popular games of recent times, yet its popularity has also attracted a large number of cheaters.
Many players resort to alternative or “alt” accounts to continue their illicit behavior, despite the fact that Minecraft regularly catches and bans hackers.
Researchers at Fortinet Labs recently discovered a variant of the Chaos ransomware hidden in a file that purported to contain a list of such Minecraft alt accounts.
Cheats who cheat
The researchers claim in a blog post about the exploit that the ransomware appears to be directed at Minecraft players in Japan.
The variant is investigated, and it was discovered that it searches for and encrypts files smaller than 2MB.
However, huge files of a few file types are overwritten with random data, making them unreadable even after payment of the ransom.
Another indication that the virus infected your computer is when you find yourself unable to open or access certain programs.
For example, my Windows Start menu would not come up after I got hacked. Additionally, if the malware does not exfiltrate encrypted data but instead deletes shadow copies from compromised machines, it makes recovery even more difficult. The hackers want bitcoin worth 2,000 Yen ($17.5), for starters.
“Despite its cheap ransom demand, its ability to destroy data and render it unrecoverable makes it more than a mere prank to annoy Japanese Minecraft gamers….The best advice is for players to stay off suspicious gaming cheat sites and simply enjoy the game the way it was meant to be played,” conclude the researchers.
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