There have been a lot of strange twists and turns when it comes to ransomware this month. First, we had Popcorn Time that gave you the option of screwing over people by infecting them to possibly get a free decryption key. Now, we have a new in-development variant of the Koolova Ransomware that will decrypt your files for free if you educate yourself about ransomware by reading two articles.
Discovered by security researcher Michael Gillespie, this in-development ransomware is not ready for prime time. In fact, I had to mess with it a bit and setup a local http server to even get it to display the ransom screen.
In its functional state, Koolova will encrypt a victim's files and then display a screen similar to the Jigsaw Ransomware where the text is slowly shown on the screen. This text will tell the victim that they must read two articles before they can get a decryption key, It then tells you that if you are too lazy to read two articles before the countdown gets to zero, like Jigsaw, it will delete the encrypted files. This is not an idle threat as actually does delete the files.