The latest ransomware attack that is targeting Android users wouldn’t be out of place on an episode of Black Mirror. The malware, dubbed ‘LeakerLocker’ by cybersecurity experts at McAfee, claims to take all of the victims data and demands a $50 payment to prevent data, which includes photos; GPS locations and even Facebook chats, from being sent to every contact on the victim’s phone.
A ransom note is sent to victims saying,
“In less than 72 hours this data will be sent to every person from your telephone and email contacts list.
“To abort this action you have to pay a modest ransom of $50. Please note that there is no way to delete your data from our secure but paying for them. Powering off or even damaging your smartphone won’t affect your data in the cloud.”
McAfee have reported 2 apps, carrying the malware, to Google that they found in the Google Play Store. Wallpapers Blur HD and Booster and Cleaner Pro. The apps have between 6,000 and 15,000 downloads and both have received updates in the last 3 months.
This newest form of ransomware highlights 2 very important safety steps that you need to follow if you’re to avoid receiving a ransom note of your own.
Firstly, you need to be very careful when downloading anything to your phone or PC and you should only ever download files from trusted sources. Secondly, if you are downloading an app you need to read the permissions you’re granting the app very carefully. It was the permissions granted to Booster and Cleaner Pro that allowed it to easily take control of victims’ phones and their private data. If an app is asking for an unusually high amount of permissions beware.
Ransomware has been gaining more and more prominence in recent months as high scale attack after high scale attack have been grabbing headlines worldwide. To protect yourself from a ransomware attack follow the steps laid out in the video above and check out all of our related security articles found at the bottom of the page.