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.
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”.
New secure key generated per drive letter… and they don't bother to save any of them. So not even the criminals can decrypt anyways.— Michael Gillespie (@demonslay335) 17 декабря 2018 г.
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.
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.