Android ransomware increasing in Australia: Bitdefender


Security vendor Bitdefender has warned of an upswing in the incidence of Android ransomware in Australia.

Bitdefender says there has been a sudden spike in the incidence of Android ransomware in Australia, and suggests this shows “an increased interest among cybercriminals in targeting Australia to generate revenue.”

The above graph shows the incidence of ransomware as a percentage of total Android malware reports.

Early samples of Android malware were quite basic and easily removed, the company says, but more recent examples are more persistent and can only be removed after restarting the device in Safe Mode.

So far, Android ransomware does not encrypt data on the affected phone or tablet, it just pretends that it has done so and relies on scaring the user.

This is in contrast to the Windows situation, where ransomware such as Cryptolocker really does encrypt the data. In that case, the choice is between paying the ransom (and hoping you receive the decryption key in return), and losing the files unless you can restore them from backups.

Dell SecureWorks recently noted that Australia was ranked third in the world for Cryptolocker incidents.

Bitdefender offers the usual advice: only download apps from Google Play, and install a mobile security product. Obviously they’d like you to use Bitdefender Mobile Security, but there are others such as Norton Mobile Security, which has a handy feature to warn you of known risks with apps from Google Play before you tap the Download button.

By: Stephen Withers

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