A particularly sophisticated new virus is currently raging on Android smartphones. The latter is one of
Ransomware, Malware that encrypts the data of its victims in order to extract money with a decryption key. This type of virus regularly kills many people around the world, both on computers and smartphones.
The new malware detected by Microsoft Cyber Security Researcher is known as AndroidOS / MalLocker.B. It is part of a whole new generation of ransomware and is spread through Android apps posted on forums and third party websites outside of the United States.
Loading the game. Once installed on the phone, the malware uses the mechanisms for notification of incoming calls as well as the home button to block access to the phone. On Android, most ransomware simply blocks access to files stored on the device instead of encrypting them.
Once deployed, the MalLocker virus. B displays a persistent message on the phone screen that is believed to be from local law enforcement, a technique widely used by ransomware perpetrators. The message thus indicates that the victim must pay a fine for a crime committed by the victim.
By breaking the incoming call notification system, the ransomware can display its message all over the smartphone screen. Since it also has the home button function in hand, it can keep showing its message even if the user presses the button or tries to switch to another open app.
This dual role of ransomware is new and unprecedented. Unfortunately, it is almost always impossible to circumvent this type of attack. And even if you pay, ransomware authors may not give victims back access to the phone. In some cases, they can share or destroy the hijacked files even after the victim has paid the ransom.
The only solution to avoid this kind of surprise is not to download any apps outside of the Play Store and to prefer apps from well-known developers. Be sure to read the reviews under the app description to make sure they are reliable.
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