The decryption key is delivered after victims read two stories on ransomware.
The decryption key is delivered after victims read two stories on ransomware.

Knowledge is good. At least according to the cybercriminals who are developing ransomware that will give a free decryption key if the victim reads two articles about ransomware.

A new variant of Koolova was discovered by security researcher Michael Gillespie, according to Bleeping Computer, that demands the victim read two articles: a Google Security Blog, Stay safe while browsing, and a Bleeping Computer article, Jigsaw Ransomware Decrypted: Will delete your files until you pay the Ransom.

Lawrence Abrams, Bleeping Computer's founder, said the ransomware itself behaves like Jigsaw in that once it encrypts the files it delivers a scrolling note telling the victim to read stories or else risk having their files deleted. In Jigsaw's case the demand is for a ransom payment.

Koolova's backers are not kidding – as it will delete the files if the demands are not met, Abrams said.

“As all of the Koolova ransomware variants I have seen have been in development, there is a good chance that this one will never actually make it to the wild,” Abrams said.