Data-kidnapping malware wreaks havoc on Android

Data-kidnapping malware wreaks havoc on Android
Data-kidnapping malware wreaks havoc on Android

Android virus steals data pretending to be a parcel delivery – Geeko

A particularly sophisticated new virus is currently plaguing Android smartphones. The latter is part of ransomware, malware that encrypts the data of its victims in order to extract money from them by making them hold out a decryption key. This type of virus regularly kills many people around the world, both on computers and smartphones.

The new malware discovered by cybersecurity researchers at Microsoft is known as AndroidOS / MalLocker.B. It is part of a whole new strain of ransomware and is spread through Android apps posted on forums and third party sites, outside of the Play Store. Once installed on the phone, the malware will use the incoming call notification mechanics, as well as the Home button to lock access to the phone. On Android, most ransomware simply blocks access to files saved on the device rather than encrypting them.

Once deployed, the MalLocker virus. B displays a persistent message on the phone screen purportedly from local law enforcement, a technique widely used by ransomware perpetrators. The message thus indicates that due to a crime committed by the victim, the latter must pay a fine.

Devilishly efficient

By having corrupted the incoming call notification system, the ransomware can display its message across the entire smartphone screen. Moreover, since it also has its hand on the Home button function, it is able to display its message constantly, even when the user presses the button or tries to switch to another open application.

This dual functioning of ransomware is new and unheard of. Unfortunately, it is almost always impossible to override these types of attacks. And even when paying, ransomware perpetrators may not give victims back access to the phone. In some cases, they can share or destroy the kidnapped files even if the victim has paid the ransom.

The only solution to avoid this kind of bad surprise is not to download an application outside of the Play Store and to favor apps from known developers. Remember to read the comments below the description of the apps to make sure they are reliable.

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