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New ransomware demands payment over WeChat Pay in China

December 04, 2018 / ZOEY CHONG

Ransomware attacks may have dwindled since the destructive days of WannaCry and NotPetya last year, but a new one has struck mobile-centric China and it's asking for ransom through one of the country's most popular methods of payment. Over 20,000 computers have fallen victim to an unnamed ransomware that is demanding payment via WeChat Pay, local media reported today, adding that the number is still growing. WeChat Pay, owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent, is one of China's two most commonly used digital wallets in the country. Files on the affected devices are encrypted by the ransomware. It also steals passwords to popular sites including shopping platforms Taobao, Tmall and JD.com, as well as digital wallet Alipay, Baidu Cloud, internet company NetEase's 163 email service and Tencent's instant messaging platform QQ. To regain access to the files, users are asked to scan a WeChat QR code that appears in a pop-up window and pay 110 yuan (about $16) in ransom.