Mobile ransomware is a new weapon in the hands of cybercriminals
Every year the number of attacks on smartphone users is growing. The reason is clear – there are more and more mobile devices, they are often poorly protected and used by victims for important tasks (work, online shopping, bank transfers, etc.) and storing valuable information that falls into the hands of hackers if they manage to infect a smartphone with malware.
And let the extortionists now get not so much from one victim, they more than compensate for this with the number of infected – the bill goes to tens and hundreds of thousands of people who are willing to pay the attackers several hundred dollars in ransom.
The risks are growing, the number of victims is also growing. And so that you do not fall for the hook of cyber-ransomware, in this article we will tell you in detail about the methods of operation and distribution of ransomware for smartphones, as well as about possible ways of protection.
Briefly about mobile extortion software
The ransomware program for a smartphone is not so much different from its “big brother” – a ransomware program for a PC. A malware of this type locks the device screen or encrypts data, preventing you from using applications and viewing files. Blocking and encryption is removed only after payment of the ransom. The main goal of extortion software developers is to earn as much money as possible from one victim, so they often merge victims’ data into the darkweb and steal their contacts for future attacks.
And what are the consequences of infection with extortionate software?
Once on the victim’s phone, the malware will block the screen and display a ransom note on it. In addition to locking the screen, the user may face other consequences of infection:
Theft of data from the contact list; >
Theft of bank credentials;
Complete deletion of data from the device;
Abuse of phone functions to block it completely;
Data encryption is a special item, often used to get even more money out of the victim for the decryption key.
How does extortionate software get onto victims’ phones?
There are only three main ways:
Infection with a fake application. In this case, the user is tricked into downloading malware instead of a legitimate application. Fake applications are usually placed on sites that copy the original ones;
Smishing. In this case, the victim receives an SMS message with a malicious link, which, after clicking, infects the user’s device with extortionate software;
Malicious websites. Sometimes it is enough to visit a hacked site to get infected with extortionate software.
A few simple tips for protecting against ransomware attacks and mitigating the consequences
Keep up to date with the latest developments in technology and malware to have an idea of which protection is best to use;
Make backups and store them in the cloud, not connected to the network. This will allow you to recover important information if your data is already encrypted.;
Update your apps regularly: this will significantly increase the protection of your system from all types of attacks;
Download apps only from Google Play or the App Store, there’s a much lower chance of catching extortionate software;
Install a mobile antivirus;
Don’t click on suspicious links;
Keep administrator rights to yourself: do not grant them to another person or application.
I’ve already been infected! What to do?
If your phone is already blocked by ransomware, then do not rush to pay the ransom. Try the following:
Boot your device in safe mode and remove malicious apps;
If the malware is launched from a web browser, just try adding the site with the malware to the blacklist and disconnect from it.
Let’s summarize the results
Protecting your smartphone is just as important as protecting any other device connected to the Internet. Do not forget about this and use the same methods of protection against cyber attacks as on all other devices.