“A fresh strain of criminal software has been discovered encrypting the data of Android smartphone owners, then demanding payment to unlock it,” Tom Brewster reports for The Guardian. “The Simplocker ransomware scans victims’ SD memory cards for certain files, including images, PDFs and other documents, and audio files, before locking them using the AES encryption standard, according to security company ESET. It’s the first malware found to be encrypting data on Android phones before demanding payment to decrypt it, according to a blog post by ESET’s security intelligence team lead Robert Lipovsky.”

“Lipovsky said that Simplocker appears to be solely active in the Ukrainian region; is not found on Android’s official Google Play Store; and is not currently widespread,” Brewster reports. “He added that the level of encryption used by Simplocker is significantly weaker than that of Cryptolocker, the aggressive Windows ransomware that global law enforcement authorities have been trying to shut down over the past week.”

Android fragmentation and malware

“Various forms of Android ransomware have been uncovered in recent months. In May, security experts warned about a strain called Koler, which posed as a porn app. It then sent a message claiming to be from police, telling the user they had broken the law by watching indecent material, demanding they pay a fine of $300,” Brewster reports. “Yet Windows remains the number one target for ransomware. The Guardian reported this week that the Cryptolocker malware has infected as many as 50,000 computers in the UK alone.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Attribution: BGR. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

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