Bad news folks, ransomware is no longer all about PCs. It has evolved to now target mobile devices, specifically Androids. Masquerading as antivirus apps, these ransomware apps are actually tasked with locking up your smartphone, instead of defending it. Previously, ransomware has typically targeted bigger devices, like your personal computer, but given the huge amount of content that we now all store on our mobile devices, it’s no surprise that the cybercriminal behavior has evolved to target new and greater opportunities.
One of the programs, the misleadingly called Android Defender operates by infecting the victim’s device and acts as though it’s completing a scan to identify any critical security issues. Once this fake scan is done, it will recommend that you purchase the fake program to rectify your issues. If you don’t purchase the program, the ransomware, being true to its name will literally hold your phone ransom. You won’t be able to open any new apps, and ultimately will make your device unusable, until you pay for it. Ransom demands vary and can be anywhere between $30-$100. Cybercriminals have been found to earn up to $30,000 a day on scams such as these!
How can you protect yourself from such irritating and complicated ransomware attacks?
The good news is you can fix your corrupt device without paying the ransom, by flashing the device with the original factory firmware – typically done by an authorized dealer for your phone network. However, the best way to protect yourself is to never allow your phone to get infected in the first place. Make sure you download your apps from reputable sites like Google Play, and be sure to keep your apps and software up to date, so that you’re always operating with the latest patches. It’s absolutely worth investing in a mobile security suite like BullGuard’s, as it’s absolutely cheaper than potentially having to pay a ransom, and losing the use of your phone for a period of time. With state-of-the-art antivirus and antispyware operating 24/7 in the background, your usage is never interrupted and you’re safe in the knowledge that you are being protected. Best part is, it’s compatible across various products, including Android, so no matter what you’re on, and what the cybercriminals choose to target next, you’re covered.
BullGuard Mobile Security will keep you safe. Don’t fall victim to ransomware – it’s just not fun!