A New Ransomware Targets Android Smartphones

As technology has become a central part of our lives, some groups or individuals have tried to harness it so they can obtain money in nefarious ways. One of the simplest methods of extortion relies on the use of ransomware.

Ransomware is a type of malware that allows attackers to block access to your device, either completely or by limiting the number of available options. They are accompanied by a message which urges the user to send a specific amount of money to an untraceable account, or their data will remain blocked forever.

Rise of ransomware on mobile devices

A new report shared by the Microsoft 365 research team notes that new ransomware that targets Android devices has been spotted, and it use s new technologies and tactics to spread across a large number of devices.

Classified under the name of AndroidOS/MalLocker.B, the ransomware is the latest iteration in a family of malware that has evolved at an accelerated pace. Ransomware of the same family has been shared across several websites and online forums in the past, under the guise of social engineering.

Exploiting vulnerabilities

The new ransomware version is quite adept at avoiding security measures, as only a handful of security apps manage to detect it before it is to late. A ransom message will be displayed, covering the entire screen of the device and blocking users from doing anything else on their device while also urging them to pay the ransom.

One of the interesting advancements of the ransomware is the ability to take advantage of code, which is employed by the developers to allow apps to resize and crop images automatically to ensure a solid performance across many Android devices.

Smartphone users should avoid the use of sketchy websites and APKs that haven’t been downloaded from a secure source since they are the preferred ways of spreading malware.

Willie Hahn, senior editor at The Trending Times, writes about the intersection between money and politics with a focus on lobbying and tech articles. Willie previously at the Android Authority and Vice. Willie can be reached by email.

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