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New ransomware is spreading that charges $1,300 in Bitcoin

It claims that it has encrypted the victim’s files and that they must pay in Bitcoin to get them unlocked.

2 min read
Hackers demanding Bitcoin as ransom. Image: Shutterstock

Cybersecurity experts at SonicWall have discovered new ransomware, dubbed “Instabot” in the antivirus community, that encrypts users’ files and demands 0.14 Bitcoin ($1,274) to unlock them.

On the bright side, you can get a generous 50% discount if you pay the perpetrators within 72 hours after your computer was infected.

"Instabot” encrypts users’ files and demands 0.14 Bitcoin ($1,274) to unlock them. Image: SonicWall

“Don’t worry, you can return all your files! All your files like photos, databases, documents and other important are encrypted with strongest (sic) encryption and unique key. The only method of recovering files is to purchase decrypt (sic) tool and unique key for you,” the message in the encrypted directories stated.

As a “proof of life,” the perpetrators even offer to decrypt a single file if it’s sent to them, although it “must not contain valuable information,” according to the ransom demand.

The hackers even recorded a tutorial video. Image: SonicWall

The message even contains a link to a tutorial video that explains how to use the “decryption tool”—with a forced Bandicam watermark on top, indicating that the hackers are using a free, unregistered copy of the software.

After contacting the perpetrators, SonicWall’s experts received an email with details of the ransom. The declared price of a “decrypt key” with a 50% discount included is 0.07 BTC—which actually amounts to roughly $637 at current exchange rates, putting the full price at $1274.

In its email, the hackers also compiled a step-by-step manual on how to register and buy Bitcoin on LocalBitcoins, recommending the platform as the simplest way. They also added a list of alternative exchanges such as Binance, Coinbase, Paxful and others. How kind.

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