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Android ransomware targets the lonely ones

There's a joke going around that smartphones started getting bigger the moment we realised we could watch porn on them, but hackers are using the trend to their advantage, building some seriously sinister malware.

According to Symantec, there's a ransomware being spread which could affect up to 67 per cent of Android devices. Yes, the ransomware poses as a porn app named Porn 'O' Mania. Not cool, man. There's no porn in it, but there's enough 'mania' to go around, that's for sure.

According to a report by ITPro, the malware, named Android.Lockdroid.E, uses a fake package installation to trick users into thinking there's an app installing on their phone. While the app is 'installing', the ransomware is gathering data and encrypting it in the background.

Once it finishes, it will warn the user that it has installed ‘forbidden materials’, and that it must pay to unlock the phone.

The ‘app’ can also ask the user to enter administration details to gain access to more advanced features of the app. However, there are no advanced features, instead of that they can get their phone locked and access to the factory reset banned, rendering the phone useless.

"This new ransomware variant has leveled up, adopting more sophisticated social engineering to gain administrator rights," Symantec's Martin Zhang explained.

The ransomware cannot be found in any of the legal app stores, though. Instead, is goes around through torrent sites and similar file sharing communities, so be careful when downloading apps from third-party sources.

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.