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Mobile Ransomware: How to remove and avoid

Mobile Ransomware: How to remove and avoid

Occurrences of one of the most dangerous types of malware, ransomware, have increased by 127% in the last year as cyber-criminals refine their tactics into turning compromised computers into cash.

Like many other trends, ransomware appears to be going mobile, according to security firms.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is malware that threatens to encrypt, share, or wipe data on a device unless you pay a ransom.

Some common examples are CryptoWall and CryptoLocker. Recently we broke the news of the similar Windows 10 Upgrade Virus.

What is becoming more and more important is data that is stored on mobile devices.  So what about Mobile Ransomware?  What if you cannot access vital data when you need it?

Mobile Ransomware: The App that took secret Photos of users

On Android phones, the main application store is Google’s ‘Play’, which only contains vetted applications.

However, you are able to download and install apps from alternative stores onto Android phones, allowing you to get some well known apps at a lower price or even free (not always legally, though).

The first outbreak of Mobile Ransomware came through one of these black market apps called ‘Adult Player’.

Mobile Ransomware: How to remove and avoid

It requested permissions for the camera upon istallation.  It then took pictures of the user with the front-facing camera.

You’d then be greeted with a message requesting a card payment in order to access your phone again and prevent these images being shared.

The way around this is to reboot the handset in safe mode.  This launches the operating system without any third-party applications running.  Then the malicious app can be removed from the device. You can find out how to do this here.

How to Prevent Ransomware Infections

There are some ways to prevent ransomware infecting your device.

  • Don’t download anything from a source that isn’t 100% reliable
  • Don’t open attachments in emails that look suspicious
  • Don’t download files from links in emails that look suspicious
  • Read our guide to stopping the CryptoWall virus

You can also view our CrytpoLocker detection scripts video.  The downloads for the scripts are available from here.

If you have any questions then please contact us or give us a call on 0208 232 1190.