One of the viruses, simply named ‘PewDiePie Ransomware,’ does not contain “crucial encryption keys” - meaning that even the program’s creator would be unable to unlock users’ files, should their computer become infected.
While this initial virus began spreading in December 2018, another ransomware program has taken hold more recently in March 2019.
"PewDiePie" ransomware sample: https://t.co/enxLkVXQJp— MalwareHunterTeam (@malwrhunterteam) December 17, 2018
And looking at that targeted extension, probably just a joke or something...
🤔@BleepinComputer @demonslay335 pic.twitter.com/avFgMrcdyY
Dubbed ‘PewCrypt,’ the malware will continue to lock users’ files until PewDiePie reaches his 100 million subscriber goal, even after they subscribe.
While ‘PewCrypt’ contains an encryption key and is fully reversible, there is an unfortunate catch; should T-Series reach the 100 million milestone before PewDiePie, the program will delete the key, thus locking users’ information for good.
I made this whilst learning java 😂I hope I didn't cause to much of an issue for anyone. Here is the decryption tool: https://t.co/2hkUIsLRxv its command line based. Keep up to good work— __JustMe__ (@JustMe79194181) February 25, 2019
The creator of ‘PewCrypt’ later released a statement following the virus’s spread, stating that the malware wasn’t made maliciously - and even gave out instructions on how to reverse the program in a cheeky Tweet shortly thereafter.
PewDiePie’s race with T-Series continues to grow more and more intense, after the label surpassed Kjellberg a number of times in late March.
Despite this development, PewDiePie continues to hold his top spot on YouTube, thanks to his dedicated fanbase - including the hackers.