Recently, we posted a piece titled Ransomware Viruses – Retaining control of your Data. This nasty little piece of malware has now lept onto the Mobile Android platform as well.
This virus, simply known as Simplocker , first appeared in June of 2014. However, the developers left a nice size whole in the programming allowing Avast! to create a decryption tool for the virus’ unfortunate victims to use. This hole was infact a programming error, which in its execution, used the same encryption key for all the victims’ mobile devices. This made it easy to identify the key, and develop a fix to combat it.
However, the developers have since fixed that programming error. The new version of Simplocker uses a different encryption key for each device it infects. According to Avast!, the new android malware strain has already infected 5000 mobile devices. The virus comes across as a Flash Player app, and upon execution encrypts the users’ files.
Although there is currently no fix to recover the encrypted files, Avast! advises people NOT to pay the $200.00 ransom.
According to Nikolaos Chrysaidos of Avast!, “If you have been infected by this new strain of Simplocker, back up the encrypted files by connecting your smartphone to your computer. This will not harm your computer, but you may have to wait until a solution to decrypt these files has been found. Then boot your phone into safe mode, go into the administrator settings and remove the malicious app and uninstall the app from the application manager”.
He also goes on to state that its also a good idea to change the device’s settings to prevent the downloading of apps from unknown sources. By doing this, it will prevent attacks like this from ever getting on your device in the first place.
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