New Ransomware Campaign Claims to Offer Free Netflix Accounts

Online criminals are using a wide variety of methods to cause havoc these days. A new security threat has been discovered a few days ago, which tricks PC users into creating false Netflix logins. Once they have done so, the users will receive a ransomware file which infects their computer. It is the first time Netflix credentials are held hostage this way, yet it shows criminals are stepping up their game at an alarming rate.

Netflix Users Targeted With Ransomware

As unusual as this concept sounds on paper, criminals have a habit of coming up with new attack vectors most people would never dream of. Deploying a malicious tool to trick computer users into giving up their Netflix credentials is nothing new under the sun by any means. Linking that tool to a ransomware infection, however, is something different.

Considering how Netflix has over 93 million subscribers, it is not surprising to learn the service is being targeted by criminals all over the world. Unfortunately, there are quite a few people not willing to pay the monthly fee, despite the vast offering of content Netflix gives users. As a result, stolen login credentials for online video streaming services have become a hot commodity on the deep web and various online forums.

Under the name RANSOM_NETIX.A., windows PC users are tricked into downloading a Netflix login generator. As one would expect from such tools, they are only designed to cause havoc, rather than give people a “real” way of accessing Netflix without paying for it. As soon as users click the “generate Login” button, the ransomware uses malicious login prompts while encrypted the Windows computer in question.

Preliminary investigations show victims are then forced to pay a US$100 ransom in bitcoin. Although this Netflix generator only targets Windows users for now, it is not unlikely this tool will be ported to alternative operating systems as well. Windows users will see the ransomware destroy itself once the tool discovered the user is not running Windows 8 or 8.1. A rather strange development, although it also means the majority of Windows users should be safe from harm.

A similar trend has been noted throughout the end of 2016. Criminals have been using new ransomware distribution methods by claiming to offer tools that grant access to paid services. Netflix is one of the biggest targets in this regard, although competing services suffer from similar developments. By using imagery that is nearly identical to the real vendor’s imagery, a lot of users are tricked into believing they are dealing with the real thing.

This is another example of how Netflix – and other online services – users need to take account security more seriously. Regularly updating your password is of the utmost importance, and account sharing should be avoided at all cost. There is no legitimate way to get a free Netflix account, other than by signing up for the free seven-day trial.

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