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    Felix Kjellberg

    Subscribe or Else! Hacker Makes 'PewDiePie' Ransomware Amid Battle With T-Series

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    The ransomware promoting the subscription to PewDiePie's channel reportedly came in two strains, with one of them lacking the means to save or upload the decryption key, thus making the future retrieval of the encrypted data virtually impossible.

    While celebrity YouTuber PewDiePie continues to try and win back his position as the most subscribed YouTube channel from one of India's biggest record labels and movie studios, T-Series, a hacker apparently attempted to influence the process with a new ransomware.

    PewDiePie signs copies of his new book This Book Loves You at Barnes & Noble Union Square on October 29, 2015 in New York City
    © AFP 2019 / Getty Images North America / John Lamparski
    According to the website, the virus can encrypt victims' files like an ordinary ransomware would, but rather than demand money for the decryption key, it would instead offer to decrypt the data as soon as PewDiePie amasses 100 million subscribers on YouTube.

    To make matters worse, the program would also threaten to delete the user’s data permanently if T-Series were to hit the 100 million subscriber milestone before Pewds.

    A total of two strains of the virus were made, ZDNet notes, with the first emerging in December and being devoid of the means to “save or upload the encryption keys anywhere”, thus making the recovery of the encrypted data impossible, and hinting at the fact that “the author wasn't particularly well versed in ransomware coding”.

    ​The second strain, a fully functional ransomware called PewCrypt, coded in Java, was released in January.

    Fortunately, the malware’s creator has apparently realised that the ransomware was a step too far and released the virus’ source code along with a decryption tool to the public.

    READ MORE: Swastikas, 'PewDiePie' Sprayed on UK School After NZ Gunman Name-Drops YouTuber

    Earlier this week, PewDiePie was overthrown as the King of YouTube when T-Series finally managed to surpass him in terms of the subscriber numbers.

    During the 11-month long race, PewDiePie’s name also became associated in at least two controversies: one involving the ‘Subscribe to PewDiePie’ slogan being used to deface a WWII memorial in Brooklyn, and the other related to the man responsible for the New Zealand mosques massacre, as he urged people to subscribe to Pewds' channel during his live-stream.

    Related:

    T-Series Topples PewDiePie After Indian Actress Monalisa’s Call to Subscribe
    PewDiePie 'Sickened' by NZ Shooter Uttering His Name Ahead of Mosque Rampage
    PewDiePie Under Fire Over 'Pakistan on Our Side' Remark Amid T-Series Battle
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    ransomware, subscribers, virus, Internet, PewDiePie
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