Aggressive Android ransomware spreading in the USA

Aggressive Android ransomware spreading in the USA:

Fortunately, you can’t download this application from the official Google Play Store. This Trojan can be delivered to users from third party markets, warez forums or torrents. The most effective way to avoid getting infected and being locked out from your device is by proactive preventative measures.

(Via welivesecurity.)

Android malware is super-scary, thanks to the very thing about Android that I love: it doesn’t have an obstructionist attitude about software that modifies the behavior of the device. This story is about another type of lockscreen ransomware. After the user is tricked into installing the malware, it changes the device’s lockscreen PIN/pattern and locks the phone until a ransom amount is paid. It aggressively defends itself from any attempt to disable or remove it.

Nonetheless, it’s not of great concern. In the Android world, the Google Play Store is the canonical app store. An Android phone will let you install apps from a different app repository — or even from a disk file — if you go through a bunch of hoops. The “proactive preventative countermeasures” indicated by the article include using Android security tools that the author’s employer sells (fair enough).

Another effective Proactive Preventative Measure would be “only use apps from the Google Play Store.” It seems like every story from an Android user who wound up with malware includes the phrase “I didn’t get this app from Google Play, but it promised me free porn” or something similar about a super-awesome website that had pirated versions of, like, every commercial Android app ever, and dude…it was all free!!!

It’s another example of the difference in philosophy between iOS and Android. iOS works very hard to prevent you from doing something that Apple thinks isn’t in your best interests. Android warns you that safety rules are there for a reason, but in the end, if you want to break your fool neck, hey, it’s your funeral.

Well. I’m sorry for anyone who had their phone bricked by this malware. I hope the porn was really worth it.

2 thoughts on “Aggressive Android ransomware spreading in the USA”

  1. Yes, never turn off the option to stop you from installing from an unknown source unless you know and trust the source of that app. You follow this and it doesn’t hurt to look for reviews in google search before downloading any app and you’ll be fine.

    Another thing to consider is that people are “paid” to find the best apps for a perticular job you might want to do on your phone. Read the reviews and take their recommendations. Don’t just download willie nillie and waste a day finding the perfect app when you can spend 5 or 10 min reading a few reviews and just downloading 1 app that does what you want.

    Just my 2 cents.

  2. Good advice! I spent a little time this morning on a couple Android and Android Wear subreddits, looking for good apps that I might have missed out on in the past few months.

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