A new piece of ransomware has security professionals puzzling over its purpose, because instead of demanding payment in Bitcoin or some other cryptocurrency in order to unlock your files, instead it simply asks you play an hour of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds instead.
It is very much ransomware though. Affected systems will find their files and folders encrypted and inaccessible, though the system itself remains usable. The PUBG Ransomware than throws up an onscreen message that says:
"Your files is [sic] encrypted by PUBG ransomware, but don't worry! It is not hard to unlock it. I don't want money! Just play PUBG 1hours."
Playing PUBG will indeed begin the decryption of the user's files, with the ransomware detecting when the game has launched and how long it's played for. Bleeping Computerreports that it only takes a few seconds to take effect however, rather than the stated one hour.
Alternatively, the "restore code" that is noted at the base of the ransomware is also the key required to decrypt your files, so in actuality, you don't even need to play the game.
So what is the point of it all? Nobody really knows. It may be a test of a new type of encryption algorithm or ransomware, or a trial run to see how effective its distribution method or actor vector is. Most likely though it's just a prank.
Hopefully anyway. Nobody wants to be forced into playing a certain game, now do they? Even if it will decrypt their files.