While Mr. Robot is a fictional show about a group of hackers in New York City dedicated to exposing the evils of a financial conglomerate, it appears that a group of programmers may have taken a little more inspiration from the show than most.
According to Lawrence Abrams, an expert in computer security and forensics, a new EDA2 (the open-source code used to create ransomware) variant was discovered online, hidden behind a giant poster for fsociety, the name of the hacker collective in Mr. Robot. The poster, which features the deranged, Guy Fawkes-inspired face, is used in the show as a way to identify attacks on the conglomerate’s system. Similarly, according to Abrams’ report, the new ransomware that’s being built will operate like the way it’s presented in the series.
The ransomware is being developed as a way to encrypt files, according to Abrams, and is still in very early stages of development. Right now the alleged ransomware only targets a test folder on Windows. If it was in active distribution, Abrams added, there would be a way to get hold of the developer, which there isn’t. All that appears when people come across the film is the test file and the fsociety logo, which has the hacker collective’s name sprawled across the poster, paying homage to the show.
Earlier this year, Mr. Robot’s chief technical advisor — who was a former hacker and now works in computer security — said that they realized pretty early on that the show had become a hit within the InfoSec (Information and Security) community and had received emails from self-proclaimed hackers about information they were getting wrong, or in some cases, praise for being pretty accurate with the portrayal of how an attack is built.
Mr. Robot has slowly moved away from its main hacker storyline to focus on Elliot (Rami Malek) and his delusions, an aspect of the show that creator Sam Esmail is very interested in portraying. Mr. Robot airs Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. ET on USA.