You’ve probably heard about ransomware before – it’s a kind of virus that locks up your data and won’t let you access it without paying cash to somebody who maybe, probably, definitely isn’t actually the FBI. But so-called “rensenware” is another thing entirely. Created by Korean student and Twitter user Typle Eraser, this malware doesn’t want your money, it wants you to play a game.
Not just any game, mind you, but the 2009 anime bullet-hell shooter Touhou Seirensen (Undefined Fantastic Object in English), and on its “Lunatic” difficulty mode. Could you score 200 million points? I couldn’t. Neither could its creator, apparently.
“I was bored,” its creator told Kotaku, explaining that he’d fallen asleep after uploading the virus to code repository GitHub, only to wake up and find that it, uh, gone viral. “I realized that it [had] become a huge accident and [was] confused.” He’d also managed to infect his own PC with it, and when asked if he could beat the score required, said “Uh, oh…. nope.”
Instead, he developed a tool to circumvent the virus and said sorry.
“I’d like to apologize [to] everyone for making [them] shocked, or annoyed,” he wrote. “Ransomeware [sic] is definitely kind of highly-fatal malware, but I made it. I made it for [a] joke, and just laughing with people who like Touhou Project Series.”
So that’s fun and everything, until some less scrupulous person with the original source code decides to make their own version of it. The real lesson here is to back up your stuff on the regular, so you can simply reformat your PC and start over. Unless you’re super hot with anime bullet-hell shooters, obviously, in which case the real lesson here is that you should get out more.