comscore Beware! Goodwill ransomware spotted in India: Here’s what it does

Goodwill ransomware wants you to help needy people to get decryption key

A new ransomware called 'Goodwill' has been spotted in India. This new ransomware makes people feed kids and help patients to get decryption key.


Image: Pixabay

Ransomware attacks have increased drastically in the past couple of years. These attacks dupe victims into paying a hefty sum in exchange for gaining access to their digital accounts or personal computers. Now, a new ransomware is attacking people. But, instead of asking victims for money, the attackers behind ‘Goodwill Ransomware‘ are asking people to help the needy and share a proof of their act on social media to gain access to their accounts. Also Read - This new ransomware locks you out of your PC and encrypts your data

Goodwill ransomware, which was recently detected in India makes victims feed kids at branded outlets, such as Domino’s, Pizza Hut or KFC, donate clothes to homeless and provide financial assistant to those who need urgent medical attention but can’t afford it, in exchange for getting access to their data. The report quoting a research by cybersecurity experts at Cloudsek said that Goodwill ransomware could result in temporary, and possibly permanent, loss of company data. It can also lead to a possible shutdown of the company’s operations and accompanied revenue loss. Also Read - Garmin fitness devices, app face outage due to technical issue

“As the threat group’s name suggests, the operators are allegedly interested in promoting social justice rather than conventional financial reasons,” Clousek said in its report, as reported by PTI. Also Read - PSA: Reliance Jio Rs 498 free recharge message being sent on WhatsApp is fake

When Goodwill ransomware attacks a victim, it encrypts documents, photos, videos, database, and other important files and renders them inaccessible due to the absence of a decryption key. To gain access to the decryption key, victims must perform three socially driven activities and share their acts on social media as a proof the attacks to verify. The report says that victims must donate new clothes to the homeless and take five less fortunate children to Dominos Pizza Hut or KFC for a treat. They need to record these activities and share them on social media as a proof. Additionally, victims need to provide “financial assistance to anyone who needs urgent medical attention but cannot afford it, at a nearby hospital, record audio, and share it with the operators,” the report said.

Their task doesn’t end there. When victims have completed the three tasks, the attackers want them to write a note on Facebook or Instagram on “how you transformed yourself into a kind human being by becoming a victim of a ransomware called GoodWill.” The attackers will then verify these videos and images and provide the decryption key to the victims, which in turn will help them recover all of their important documents.

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  • Published Date: May 23, 2022 4:58 PM IST

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