Ransomware Group Forces Victims to ‘Pick 5 Poor Kids’ and Buy Them KFC

As reported by safety equipment CloudSEK (opens in new tab)a new ransomware group called GoodWill forces its victims to give to the poor to regain access to their files.

GoodWill appears to originate from Mumbai, India, and like other ransomware, it encrypts important files on an infected device, requiring an encryption key provided by hackers to regain access. Unlike typical ransomware attacks, which ask for money in exchange, Goodwill charges victims with three quirky acts of charity. It is not clear from the CloudSEK report how many people were targeted by the group or if anyone actually went through the process.

The first task is to “provide new clothes/blankets to needy people on the roadside [sic] and make a video of that event”, with proof posted on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. Then GoodWill’s targets have to “at night, pick 5 poor children (under 13) from their neighborhood and take them to Dominos / Pizza Hut or KFC, so let them order the food they love to eat and try to make them feel happy.” Hackers also want you to film and take pictures of kids for social media, really cool. The final charge of GoodWill is paying the medical bills of someone who can’t pay and of course posting on Facebook et al.

(Image credit: CloudSEK)

Is it all a little… tacky? Like something out of a chain email your grandma might send, except the security threat is very real. The element of posting evidence on social media, along with the awesome profile board provided for overcoming all obstacles, tells me that this is much more about humiliation than actually helping someone.

GoodWill’s scheme reminds me of how the Death Note guy thought he was going to change the world by orchestrating extralegal executions of petty criminals. Light Yagami, man, if you wanna move the needle, you gotta think Larger. I’m sure these GoodWill guys can do some research and find out why so many people have huge medical bills…

But I would never encourage any kind of criminal activity. Along with the general chain email vibe, I’m really into the “take five needy kids out to eat” thing. What parent in their right mind would allow that? “Don’t worry, I’m not trying to kidnap your son – the hackers stole all the data from my HVAC business and that’s how I get it back. I also have to film your son eating. Normal stuff.”

Karmically, maybe all this cynicism is just me begging to be GoodWill’s next victim. These wacky hackers in Mumbai are about to teach me a valuable lesson about giving, humility, and filming people (including children) experiencing the life-changing Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Leave a Comment