Syrk: A new Ransomware which Targets Fortnite Players

Cyber-criminals have setup a trap for Fortnite gamers creating a ransomware program that comes disguised as a cheat hack although encrypts files and then deletes them every two hours unless the victim pays up.

Nearly 250 million Fortnite users are a prime target for this kind of malware. The hijackers usually ask for the ransom to be paid in Crypto-Currency.

How Syrk ransomware works?

According to researchers from Cyren, Syrk is basically an intact copy of open-source ransomware. Once executed the software connects to a command-and-control server and disables the following programs:

  • Windows Defender
  • UAC (the system that requests user permission for administrator actions)
  • Process-monitoring apps that can be used to detect the infection such as Task Manager, Process Monitor and Process Hacker

The Cryptor also adds itself to the autoload list so that the user cannot get rid of it just by rebooting the machine. If any USB drives are connected to the computer, the Syrk attempts to infect them as well.

How to recover your files free?

The good news is that you don’t have to pay the ransom even if Syrk has penetrated your computer and encrypted your documents. Its current version actually stores the key needed to decrypt the files right on the infected machine. The key is in the folder C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\ in a file called -pw+.txt or +dp-.txt.

Follow these steps to recover your files:

  • Copy the key.
  • In the ransom demand window click Show My ID to open a page showing your ID and invitation to Enter the key to Decrypt your Files.
  • Paste the key into the appropriate field and click Decrypt my Files.

The program will recover the encrypted photos and documents then create and execute two .exe files which will clean up what remains of the malware.

Here are few tips for protecting yourself from the ransomware:

  • Never download programs from untrusted sources even if they promise supercool gameplay advantages.
  • Back up your files and store them so they are inaccessible directly from your computer. If you use external HDDs or flash drives connect them only for as long as it takes to complete backup.
  • Install a reliable protection solution.


Nowadays cybercriminals try to capitalize on anything the public enjoy including popular games. This Syrk ransomware is an example of good news however as most of the victims were able to recover their files without paying any ransom to the hijackers however, it’s always important to stay safe and avoid getting the ransomware into your PC in the first place.  If you follow the tips listed above, then you can be sure to stay safe for sure.

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