“You are guilty of child porn, child abuse, zoophilia or sending out bulk spam. You are a criminal,” Nicole Perlroth reports for The New York Times. “The Federal Bureau of Investigation has locked you out of your phone and the only way to regain access to all your data is to pay a few hundred dollars.”

“That message — or variations of it — has popped up on hundreds of thousands of people’s Android devices in just the last month. The message claims to be from the F.B.I., or cybersecurity firms, but is in fact the work of Eastern European hackers who are hijacking Android devices with a particularly pernicious form of malware, dubbed ‘ransomware’ because it holds its victims’ devices hostage until they pay a ransom,” Perlroth reports. “In just the last 30 days, roughly 900,000 people were infected with a form of ransomware called ‘ScarePackage,’ according to Lookout, a San Francisco-based mobile security firm.”

Perlroth reports, “‘This is, by far, the biggest U.S. targeted threat of ransomware we’ve seen,’ said Jeremy Linden, a senior security product manager at Lookout. ‘In the past month, a single piece of malware has infected as many devices in the U.S., as a quarter of all families of malware in 2013.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Open,” as in: Wide.

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

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