Microsoft has found a new ransomware that is targeting Android smartphones and has issued an alert for the same. The ransomware is called MalLocker.B and is spreading via online forums and websites. It is mostly hidden inside malicious Android apps. So, it is important to be careful while downloading apps from websites.
As far as the ransomware is concerned, it simply prevents the user from accessing the phone screen. Unlike other ransomwares, this one doesn’t encrypt the device. It simply freezes the screen with a message that claims to be from a law enforcement agency and ask for a fine to unlock the screen.
This ransomware takes advantage of the “call” notification and when they get an incoming call the ransomware gets activated. Also, the moment the user presses the home button or recent app button, the screen gets locked with the message.
“As with most Android ransomware, this new threat doesn’t actually block access to files by encrypting them. Instead, it blocks access to devices by displaying a screen that appears over every other window, such that the user can’t do anything else. The said screen is the ransom note, which contains threats and instructions to pay the ransom,” explained Microsoft.
The report suggests that the code of the malware is simple and it can easily spread to multiple phones. Users are recommended to avoid downloading apps from unknown sources. While there is no evidence that this ransomware steals personal information or not, it has been confirmed that your Android phone may become virtually useless.
“This new mobile ransomware variant is an important discovery because the malware exhibits behaviors that have not been seen before and could open doors for other malware to follow,” it added.
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