We all are aware of the fact that Android is by far the most used operating system in smartphones and tablets and is becoming increasingly popular. Ransomware, on the other hand, is a type of malware that locks the data on your computer, preventing you from accessing it unless and until you pay the amount demanded by the hacker.
The main objective of such an attack is to ask for money from the victim, which is usually paid through virtual currency like bitcoin, to keep the identity of the cyber-criminal hidden.
How Does Ransomware Work?
There are two major variations of Ransomware, which are commonly known as Crypto-Ransomware and Locker Ransomware.
Crypto Ransomware encrypts the files on your device, making it impossible for you to access your data. On the other hand, Locker Ransomware denies you complete access to your device and this type of Ransomware is very common on Android smartphones and tablets.
It is important to realize the fact that Ransomware is not a virus but a malware that can hold your data as hostage unless you fulfill the demands of the hacker. According to some reports, last year these demands were as high as $1000 at an average, which is too much for a normal person to pay.
Plus, there is a risk of losing your data forever, and even if you pay the amount that you have been asked to pay, there is still no guarantee that you will recover your data.
The Risk of Android Devices Getting Ransomware
Just like your computer, your Android devices are also at risk of Ransomware, as they have become an increasingly popular target for malware hackers because they carry so much data to manipulate the users and ask them for ransom.
Most people store a lot of personal as well as financial information in their smartphones which can be stolen if they do not keep their devices well-protected at all times. It is noteworthy that you should use the services of a reputable service provider that guarantees your online safety. For instance, Spectrum internet comes with a 24/7 protection so users can have the peace of mind knowing that they are safe and secure from the online threats.
How Does Ransomware Attack Android Phones?
Mobile malware sneaks into your smartphone through social tactics and they trick you into malicious content like fake applications, software updates from a third party, or downloading files from unknown websites. Mobile Ransomware can also enter into your phone if you follow a spam link sent to you via email or SMS.
Types of Ransomware for Android Users
Numerous types of Ransomware can attack your Android device. Here are some of the top Ransomware from which you need to protect yourself:
WannaLocker is a Chinese malware that was developed by some Chinese developers and it specifically targets Chinese Android users. This malware is known for targeting individuals who are interested in playing games and acts as a plug-in for the game.
WannaLocker extorted the victims for a considerably less amount than other malware. Most of the Ransomware asked for $350-$400 as ransom money but WannaLocker asked most of its victims for $6-$7 only.
Android users specifically need to protect themselves from this attacker. DoubleLocker can prove to be a dangerous malware for your smartphone because it is capable of locking both, your device as well as the data stored in it.
Some reports suggest the fact that in the near future, DoubleLocker might be able to steal money from your bank account due to its ability to steal bank account information as well as personal information.
This malware specifically targets people in the United States and is hidden as a pornographic application. This malware covers the screens of the users with a fake message by the police and demands a fine for watching prohibited content.
LeakerLocker is a malware that is capable of sharing your phone data with all your contacts through email, SMS, and MMS. This can be very risky for you as all the content in your smartphone is not meant for everybody to see because there are some private files and images that have to be kept confidential.
LeakerLocker can share files like photos, location, emails, messages as well as web history, so you need to be careful from this malware. This particular malware hides in the Google Play Store as a fake application and is commonly known for demanding $50 from the victims.
How to Get Rid of Ransomware?
Mobile Ransomware is increasingly on the rise and that is why you need to know how to remove it if you get infected by this dangerous malware. One of the ways to get rid of Ransomware is to boot your device and switch it into Safe Mode.
You can boot your smartphone into Safe Mode by holding the power button and switching it off completely. After that, you need to switch your phone on by pressing and holding the power button and the volume buttons simultaneously. An option of Safe Mode will appear on your smartphone, turn that on and then, go to settings and delete the applications that are from an untrusted source.
What If Booting into Safe Mode Does Not Work?
If booting into Safe Mode does not help at all, you can reset your device to factory settings and it will become as fresh as new. However, before resetting it to factory settings, you need to understand the fact that all the data in your device will get erased so you should create a backup before resetting it to factory settings.
How to Protect Yourself from Ransomware?
To stay away from Ransomware, you need to consider the following aspects:
1. Always download applications from a trusted source.
2. Backup your Android device regularly.
3. Keep your smartphone/tablet up to date with the latest software.
4. Never share your personal information on public platforms.
5. Never save your passwords on public computers.
Sometimes, it so happens that you infect your device with viruses and malware by following a link that you are not supposed to follow. Ransomware malware and viruses track your online activity and they know your interests, this is how they trick you into clicking and downloading malicious links and files, which are corrupted.
So, never download apps and files from untrustworthy websites and always stick to the official stores such as Google Play Store. Create multiple backups of your data to avoid future problems, you can create cloud accounts for this specific purpose.
Always keep your devices up to date with the latest versions because they contain solutions to the previous problems. Last, but not the least, never fall for a phishing attack as they mislead you into revealing personal as well as financial information.
As Ransomware is growing at a very fast pace, the attacks are getting more deadly and dangerous. People getting infected by such malware are facing serious problems as they are unable to access the important files and documents on their devices which might be related to their work because of which they are suffering heavy losses.
There is no doubt in the fact that prevention is the best line of defense against any threat. Therefore, you should have security applications and anti-virus software installed on your devices with the latest updates so that you can detect and delete the viruses and malware before they infect your device.