Two apps have been identified to carry the malware
Cyber attacks have been on the rise this year, with malware attacks affecting computers, devices and systems around the world. After ransomware ‘WannaCry’, a new type of ransomware is on the prowl – ‘LeakerLocker’.
The malware threatens to send private pictures, messages and internet browsing history to friends/contacts and can be downloaded through apps on Google Play.
How it works
– It locks the phone’s home screen and claims to have made a backup of any “sensitive information” stored on it. It then threatens to leak it to everyone you know, unless you pay off the criminals behind the ransomware.
– Two apps have been identified to carry the malware, Wallpapers Blur HD and Booster & Cleaner Pro according to security technology company, McAfee.
– The malware will ask for your credit card number and, in case if you pay them, a message is displayed:
“Your personal data has been deleted from our servers and your privacy is secured”.
– Wallpapers Blur HD: Downloaded between 5,000 and 10,000 times
Rating of 3.6 stars (out of five)
– Booster & Cleaner Pro: Downloaded between 1,000 and 5,000 times
Rating of 4.5-stars
And if the payment doesn’t go through, the message says: “No payment has been made yet. Your privacy is in danger”.
“LeakerLocker locks the home screen and accesses private information in the background, thanks to its victims granting permissions at installation time,” said McAfee, according to a report by The Independent.
“Not all the private data that the malware claims to access is read or leaked. The ransomware can read a victim’s email address, random contacts, Chrome history, some text messages and calls, pick a picture from the camera, and read some device information.”
Google has begun an investigation into the matter after the apps were reported.
McAfee urges users with infected phones to not pay the $50 ransom it demands.
“Doing so contributes to the proliferation of this malicious business, which will lead to more attacks.”
The company added that there is no guarantee if the information will be leaked or further used to blackmail the victims again.
Ransomware attacks 2017
Earlier this year, three ransomware wreaked havoc around the world, including ‘WannaCry’, ‘Petya’ and ‘StoneDrill’.
StoneDrill mainly infecting businesses and government agencies and departments in Ukraine and Russia, but there were reports of businesses in other countries also being compromised, with reports filtering in from the US, UK, Germany, Switzerland, and Holland.
“The only reliable defence against the recent Petya ransomware attacks is backup,” said Nigel Tozer, solutions marketing director at Commvault.
The malware destroyed everything on the infected computer, and featured advanced anti-detection techniques and espionage tools in its arsenal. In addition to targets in the Middle East, one StoneDrill target was also discovered in Europe, where wipers used in the Middle East have not previously been spotted in the wild.
A major global cyber attack, ‘WannaCry’, disrupted computers at Russia’s biggest oil company, Ukrainian banks and multinational firms with a virus similar to the ransomware that infected more than 300,000 computers last month.