Another scary ransomware virus is taking over Android phones. This is the type of virus I've warned you about in the past that takes over your phone or scrambles your data unless you pay a fee. Luckily, there's a less-expensive cure.
This latest attack is called Andr/FBILock-A and disguises itself as Flash Player app for Android. This is a major warning sign because there is no Flash Player app available in the Google Play Store. And, like I always say, it's a good security practice to download apps only from the app store.
When you install the app, it will ask you to make it a device administrator. That setting is usually a safety mechanism, but in this case it gives the virus more power to control your phone.
Once installed, the virus goes to work and pops up on your screen with a warning that says it's from the FBI. It also says illegal data has been found on your phone and you must pay a $300 fee to unlock your gadget. The pop-up covers all of your other apps, so you can't delete it.
The best way to get rid of this is using your Android's safe mode.
The mechanism for enabling it varies by device; one common way is to hold down the Power button; then tap and hold Power Off; then tap [OK] at the "Reboot to safe mode" dialog.
When your gadget reboots in safe mode, go to the settings screen. Select Security and click on Device Administrators. From here, you can remove the fake Flash Player's device administrator access. Then you can go back to the settings screen, click on apps, and uninstall the ransomware.
These ransomware viruses are becoming more and more common on mobile gadgets. Make sure you're protected with this security app.