Friday, December 23, 2016

It's cinema time!

The best of the week in Cyber Security

Finally, you get to see that film you have been waiting for the whole year, but with the rush you have not been able to buy food to eat during the two hours that you have ahead. You look to your right and see how a stranger offers you his popcorn, smiling in a suspicious way. Your stomach growls, you are so hungry… Would you accept it?


When you’ve lost count of how many delicious and salty popcorn you’ve swallowed already, you look at the package. It says: ‘Popcorn Time’. Oh no! You have just received a ransomware what will take control of your computer and sooner all your files will be encrypted. Nobody in real life is going to give you some popcorn for free. It’s the same in the digital world!

Don’t worry, not everything is lost. If someone infects you with ‘Popcorn Time’ and you don’t want to pay a bitcoin (about 739 euros), you can infect two other people and be saved! That would give you a free encryption key and you could recover your system. Would you send it to someone to get rid of this mess?

While you think about it, the trailers begin. The first one has Kurt Eichenwald as the main character. He is an American political reporter who receives a malicious tweet. Someone wants to provoke him an epileptic seizure… And it works.  

Second trailer. Night falls in a city in Ukraine. People are doing their normal things at home when all of a sudden the lights go out. The whole metropolis is deep in darkness. A cyber attack is behind all this. With what intention? Does it have anything to do with that Ukrainian artillery system that has been recently hacked with an Android app?

Third and last trailer. Everyone is looking forward to the release of the video game ‘Super Mario Run’. Children and older people look at their mobile screens, ready to download and start playing. However, many of them press on fake applications that are full of malware, which takes control of their smartphones to steal their passwords, photos and messages, all with the purpose of blackmailing them. Will the main character of the story reach the last level?

The film is about to start. You look to your left this time, nervous. Two friends of yours that are with you haven’t bought any popcorn either. “Do you want a few?”, you ask them, feeling a bit guilty. Two hours later, the entire cinema room is infected with the ransomware ‘Popcorn Time’ but no one has paid the ransom. Conclusion: do not download files from suspicious websites that may hide malware, just as you would never accept popcorn from a stranger.

Image source: Google Images

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