Rensenware Malware Forces Victims to Beat in-game High Score

In this day and age, it is rather refreshing to encounter a type of ransomware that does not require a bitcoin or Monero payment. Rensen ransomware has made quite a few media headlines, as it requires “victims” to effectively play a game and beat the high score before restoring file access. It is evident this project was never intended to cause major harm, yet it goes to show anyone can get infected with malicious software.

Rensenware Is A Unique Type Of Software

There is nothing fun about dealing with malicious software that locks you out of using your own computer. Unfortunately, these types of stories have become all too common over the past few years. Every now then, though, a different type of ransomware shows up that is more about teaching people a valuable lesson than actually causing harm. Rensenware is such a fine example.

To be more specific, Rensenware forces player to beat a very challenging Japanese shoot-em-up game’s high score before decrypting computer files. Do not be mistaken in thinking this joyful type of malware won’t affect your computer, though, as it still encrypts computer files in the same manner as any other type of ransomware would. Documents, music, and videos are all encrypted once Rensenware strikes.

Breaking said encryption does not require a payment, which is a change of pace. Over the past two years, most ransomware developers demand a bitcoin either in bitcoin, Monero, or anonymous payment methods such as Paysafecard. Rensenware, on the other hand, forces users to play Touhou 12, an incredibly difficult and fun Japanese video game. Victims have to maintain a score of 0.2 billion on the LUNATIC level to successfully get their files decrypted. To most people, that is an impossible challenge, and some victims would even prefer to pay, by the look of things.

It is evident Rensenware was never designed to become a major malware threat. However, that does not mean it’s not annoying to get rid of the malicious software once it successfully infected a computer, though. The creator of the malware issued a public apology on Twitter, as he designed the project as a joke rather than something that actively seeks out targets to encrypt files.

Moreover, it is possible to bypass the high score requirement by using a forcer tool, which was made publicly available by the Rensenware developer. Users can manipulate the game’s memory to beef up their score and have files decrypted in a convenient manner. All things considered, it seems this joke has gotten a bit out of hand even though no serious damage has been done in the process.

Rest assured the source code of Rensenware is still available somewhere. Although the developer took the code offline, things never completely disappear on the internet either It is possible new iterations of this malware will pop up in the future, as beating a difficult game seems far more challenging than making a cryptocurrency payment. However, one never knows what aspiring ransomer developers may use the source code for.

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