Android Users Locked Out of Mobile Devices by Ransomware

September 11, 2015 at 1:42 pm By

The Android ransomware that has been demanding money from users just got a bit more annoying. The malicious ransomeware is now changing the lock pins on users phones forcing them to use a factory reset method to remedy it.

“Malicious apps that disable Android phones until owners pay a hefty ransom are growing increasingly malevolent and sophisticated as evidenced by a newly discovered sample that resets device PIN locks, an advance that requires a factory reset,” according to Arstechnica.

“Dubbed Android/Lockerpin.A, the app first tricks inexperienced users into granting it device administrator privileges. To achieve this, it overlays a bogus patch installation window on top of an activation notice. When targets click on the continue button, they really grant the malicious app elevated rights that allow it to make changes to the Android settings.”

It’s already inconveniencing many Android users but locking them out of their own device over and over can be very frustrating. Initially the ransomeware was demanding $500 in return for control over their phone. According to the report new users are more susceptible to falling for the ransomeware and paying the money while older users may be a bit more suspicious.

“From there it will change the PIN and periodically continue to overlay a fake window in an attempt to hold on to the elevated privileges,” according to the report.

“It’s the first known Android lock-screen ransomware to set a phone’s PIN lock. Because it requires non-paying victims to factory reset their phones, it causes them to lose all of their data.Β At the moment, the app is notable mostly for the innovation it shows rather than the real-world threat it poses.”

Experts are saying that apps like these that contain ransomware may possibly evolve and become more dangerous over time, making it absolutely necessary for companies to think about heightening the security of their devices.

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