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Android Ransomware Spreading Fast

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DateThursday, September 10, 2015

Android Ransomware Spreading Fast

Anti-Virus Company ESET Report Aggresive Ransomeware LockerPIN Sets or Changes Android Device's PIN Lock




Researchers from anti-virus and IT security company, ESET, claim to have discovered in the wild the first Android PIN-setting ransomware. LockerPIN sets or changes the device's PIN lock, unbeknownst to the user as it locks the screen and demands a $500 ransom.



LockerPIN spreads via unverified third party app stores, warez forums and torrents. After a successful installation, the trojan horse tries to obtain Device Administrator privileges by overlaying the system message with its own window and masquerading as an "Update patch installation."



Currently, even if the trojan is removed, for unrooted devices that aren't protected by a security solution, there is no simple way to change the PIN except for a factory reset. This however results in loss of all data. To add insult to injury, even if the user decides to pay the ransom, the attackers cannot unlock the device as the PIN is set randomly.



Based on ESET's statistics, a percentage share of over 75% of the infected Android devices are in the USA, which seems to support a trend where Android malware writers are shifting from mostly targeting Russian and Ukrainian users to Americans where they can arguably make higher profits. According to ESET, Europe is expected to be next on the list.



To prevent infection, ESET strongly advises for using an Internet security solution, such as ESET Mobile Security designed specifically for Android smartphones and tablets, to back up regularly and to download apps only from certified app stores, such as Google Play or Amazon App Store.


Read indepth analysis of LockerPIN or more about the evolving LockerPIN story on social media using hashtag #LockerPIN






What Is LockerPIN


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