Be careful of what you install
While most people know about viruses and malware, not a lot of folks know the term ransomware. Ransomware is essentially a virus that locks you out of your device until you pay the creators an amount of money (thus the name) and has been a prevalent kind of malware in PCs for a while now. ESET, an anti-virus company, has announced that a particularly nasty and aggresive kind of ransomware that locks you out of your phone until you pay them money.
Dubbed Android/Lockerpin, the malicious software tricks users into giving them administrator access through some particularly clever overlays – in this case, an update window that hides the actual activation windows underneath. Once a user agrees, it’s game over – a prompt will now show that a user will need to pay $500 (around Php 23365) to unlock their device. At this point, the ransomware will scramble the PIN code for the phone, with neither the user or the author of the software getting access to the device. Unless you have root access on your phone or can get Android Debug Bridge (ADB) to work – the easiest and safest way to fix the issue is by doing a factory reset. What’s nefarious is that the code is also capable of detecting anti-virus software like ESET, AVAST and Dr. Web, and will uninstall them to protect itself.
For now the nasty bug is restricted to the outer reaches of the web, and ESET says you can only get infected if you download apps not found on Google’s Play Store. Most of the malware’s activity is currently centered around in the US, though that’s not a guarantee that you’re safe if you install unknown apps willy-nilly. The best defense against malware and viruses is common sense – don’t download suspicious apps or modified apps like games that give you infinite gems, crystals, gold, etc.