This dangerous new malware locks down your phone and holds it hostage unless you pay the hackers a hefty fee. Even worse, it can arrive on a text message from family or friends. Luckily, outsmarting hackers isn't as hard as it looks.
You may remember the Koler ransomware that targeted Android devices from my past coverage of the virus. Well, it must have been successful for the hacker team that created it because they just rereleased version 2.0. This one's even more dangerous.
If you downloaded the original version of the Koler ransomware, it would simply lock your phone and show you this screen:
ATTENTION! Your phone has been blocked up for safety reasons listed below. All the actions performed on this phone are fixed. All your files are encrypted. CONDUCTED AUDIO AND VIDEO.
The only way to get your data back would be to pay the hackers their ransom. If someone is infected with the new version, they immediately send a message written by the hackers to all of their friends.
After being infected by the malware, a user sends a message reading:
Someone made a profile named [the victim's name] and he uploaded some of your photos! is that you?
The message ends with a bit.ly link that redirects the victim to a Dropbox page with a download link for the malware. The download is sneakily called "PhotoViewer," in hopes of tricking people into opening an app that might reveal the photos that "someone" may have uploaded under their name.
Luckily enough, this malware doesn't seem to be as forward-thinking as the scary CryptoLocker 2.0 ransomware, because the message isn't able to be changed by hackers on the fly. This means that you'll be able to spot any attempts to infect your Android phone from a mile away.
All you have to do is look for that specific message text, and make sure that you don't have "Allow installations of apps from unknown sources" enabled in your Android device's security settings.