A new, particularly sophisticated virus is currently raging on Android smartphones. The latter is one of the
ransomware, malware that encrypts the data of its victims with the aim of extracting money from them by hinting at them with a decryption key. This type of virus regularly kills many people around the world, both on computers and smartphones.
The new malware discovered by cybersecurity researchers at Microsoft is known as AndroidOS / MalLocker.B. It is part of a whole new strain of ransomware and is spread through Android apps posted on forums and third-party sites outside of the
Play store. Once installed on the phone, the malware will use the incoming call notification mechanics, as well as the Home button to lock access to the phone. On Android, most ransomware simply blocks access to files saved on the device rather than encrypting them.
Once deployed, the MalLocker virus. B displays a persistent message on the phone screen purportedly from local law enforcement, a technique widely used by ransomware perpetrators. The message thus indicates that due to a crime committed by the victim, the latter must pay a fine.
By corrupting the incoming call notification system, the ransomware can display its message across the entire smartphone screen. In addition, since he also has his hand on the Home button function, he is able to display his message constantly, even when the user presses the button or tries to switch to another open application.
This dual functioning of ransomware is new and unheard of. Unfortunately, it is almost always impossible to override these types of attacks. And even if they pay, ransomware perpetrators may not return phone access to victims. In some cases, they can share or destroy the kidnapped files even if the victim has paid the ransom.
The only solution to avoid this kind of unpleasant surprise is not to download an app outside of the Play Store and to favor apps from known developers. Remember to read the comments below the description of the apps to make sure they are reliable.