There’s a new ransomware targeting your phone. Security Researchers at ESET are warning about a malware called Android/Filecoder.C that not only infects your device, but accesses your contacts list and sends links to malicious malware to everyone you know.
It was initially distributed via posts in website forums, but for most victims, it turned up in the form of text messages or emails that appear to have been sent from a friend. Once someone clicks on one of the links in the message, most of the files on their phone will be encrypted by this ransomware bug.
So far, the links appear to be to both pornography and tech posts, pointing users towards a free app to download. But, crooks could use any kind of fake link they wanted for this scam. One message claims that your friend has found your photos included in an app. Of course, you’d want to know why your photos were in someone else’s app and the old fear response clicks in, causing you to click before you think. Sometimes the scammers used QR codes that you could scan to be taken to the app.
Once the app is installed, your files are encrypted a ransomware demand will pop up, saying that you have 72 hours before your data is lost and demanding payment in Bitcoin.
How to protect yourself? Make sure to have a good security app installed on your phone and don’t install apps from anywhere but the Google Play Store.
Even if you are installing an app from the Play Store, you should always look at its reviews and what types of permissions it requests. And always, always, think before you click on any link.