Android malware demands a ransom for your microSD files

Android malware demands a ransom for your microSD files
Hackers recently blackmailed some Apple iPhone users by remotely locking out people from their own phone, unless they paid a "ransom". Now, some hackers are blackmailing Android users with a similar scam. A report published today reveals that an Android based malware called Simplocker will freeze the files on a user's SD card, demanding a ransom if the user wants to unlock the affected files.

The blackmailer gets access to files on the microSD card, including images, PDFs, audio files, and other documents. It then encrypts them using the AER encryption standard. The blackmailers ask for 13 EUR ($17.70 USD) to unlock the files. Perhaps even worse, the phone's unique IMEI number is sent out to a server controlled by the blackmailers. The bad guys use encryption and a number of servers that make it hard for law enforcement officials to track them down.

Earlier this year, Android users were the victims of a malware strain called Koler. This malware disguised itself as a porn app. A message would be sent to the infected device's owner, claiming to be from the police and demanding that a $300 fine be paid for watching indecent material.

ESET's security intelligence team lead Robert Lipovsky, suggests that those affected should not pay the ransom since it will serve to encourage the bad guys. There also is no guarantee that the bad guys will release your files once you pay them.

source: TheGuardian

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26 Comments

1. fsalto98

Posts: 31; Member since: Apr 25, 2014

Eh if your phone is already encrypted they can do anything about it.

21. androtaku

Posts: 246; Member since: Dec 12, 2013

if its android,anything is ok

23. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

I think they can (wether it is android or ios), since they encrypt files at a higher level (which are, then, encrypted again by the os).

25. chocowii

Posts: 478; Member since: Jan 30, 2014

Meanwhile we at WP enjoy no hackers. Coz nobody wants WP right?

2. wilsong17 unregistered

How come I never experienced any of this.. I also install app outside Google play store since 2010 and never had any problem.... AV companies must be getting desperate to peddle this kind of story, I suppose thanks to the relative safety of iOS and Android. You'd really have to be trying to get this installed to actually infect your phone. You'd have to enable the sideloading of applications, disable the scanning of sideloaded applications, and then ignore multiple warnings that flash up reminding you about the dangers of sideloading unscanned applications. Also this is only happening on the UK not USA why didn't you mention that

8. Sauce unregistered

Just like I never experience this sh*t on my Note 2 or the silly "news" that happens to a FEW iPhone owners. When Android/SS and iOS/Apple are always in the top spotlight, anything will be done to berate the best of them. This is what happens to the best. Yes, the things that happen, happen. But people blow it way out of proportion.

12. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

For once on here, Sauce is correct - this malware 'issue' has been blown out of proportion...

20. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

For once he talked with sense.

18. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Kudos. +1

3. fsalto98

Posts: 31; Member since: Apr 25, 2014

*Can't*

4. fsalto98

Posts: 31; Member since: Apr 25, 2014

Yeah that might be true

5. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

Is it on board storage too, or just the SD Card?

6. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

apps can only do damage to the sd card if you installed an app and it of course has that permission declared upon install. It cannot touch /data where sensitive app data is stored. So most likely will lose videos, pictures, music and any other data it thinks it needs to encrypt.

7. BobbyDigital

Posts: 2124; Member since: May 29, 2014

It's amazing that PA will report this but not the sundry hacks Apple has experienced of late. I wonder why?

9. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

They did report on the Apple

10. BobbyDigital

Posts: 2124; Member since: May 29, 2014

I guess I missed it.

11. psmartphones

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 05, 2014

the news HTC One M8 can not access its data, because it is simply the best Android smartphone

13. FingerMyApple unregistered

Never had sd card on my past every single android phone so I can't comment much :)

15. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

Are u that famous Filipino model?

14. TheFirm

Posts: 33; Member since: Jun 05, 2014

Nothing to see here, just android being android

16. jmonteiro829

Posts: 259; Member since: Feb 13, 2012

I work in I.T. and just recently had a laptop that I had to format for a client. This exact Ransomware was installed on the PC and encrypted all the folders that held personal data. It gave them 48 hours to pay $500 for the decryption program and $1000 after that. They obviously didn't pay and the computer no longer booted as the OS wasn't seen on the drive. I personally haven't seen it on mobile phones yet but this totally sounds legit after what I just went through.

17. rallyguy

Posts: 620; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

Of course it's not mentioned that these apps get sideloaded by the owner. I guess it's just easier to call it an Android problem, instead of a user who disregards all safety warnings and intentionally installs high risk apps on their phone.

19. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Can't find it on play store, needs permissions changed to install, seems legit.

26. rallyguy

Posts: 620; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

It's not on the play store. It's an app the owner side loads onto the phone from a website. If you do that, you are rolling the dice, especially a porn app.

22. majp89

Posts: 182; Member since: Jun 18, 2013

JOKE'S ON YOU, MR. MALWARE HACKER GUYS. I DON'T HAVE AN SD CARD...HAHAHAHAHA...HA...HA. T_T

24. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

You do know that it just goes after your internal storage which is what the sd card is for a lot of people right?

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