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Ransomware attacks on Android users see four-fold increase within one year

By Liu Hongzuo - on 7 Jul 2016, 4:48pm

Ransomware attacks on Android users see four-fold increase within one year

The latest findings by Kaspersky Lab revealed that 136,000 Android users around the world have been hit by ransomware between April 2015 and March 2016. While such attacks are not new, it is four times more than the numbers from April 2014 to March 2015 (the same 12-month period from the year before).

Here are other key findings as published by Kaspersky Lab:

According to Kaspersky Lab, the report covers a full two-year period. These particular timescales were chosen because they witnessed several significant changes in the mobile ransomware threat landscape.

  • The share of users attacked with ransomware as a proportion of users attacked with any kind of Android malware also increased, from 2.04% in 2014-2015 to 4.63% in 2015-2016.
  • Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States experienced a higher percentage of users attacked with Android ransomware than any other countries.
  • Only four groups of malware were responsible for more than 90% of all attacks registered in the period. They are the Small, Fusob, Pletor and Svpeng malicious families.
  • Android-based devices cannot remove screen lockers with help of external hardware, making mobile screen blockers as effective as PC crypto-ransomware.

The global cybersecurity firm recommends the following actions to defend against mobile ransomware:

  • Restrict the installation of apps from sources other than official app stores.
  • Use a reliable security solution capable of detecting malware and malicious web links.
  • If installing apps from non-official sources is unavoidable, keep an eye on what permissions the app is requesting. Do not install such apps without a security solution in place.
  • Educate yourself and your relatives on the latest forms of malware propagation. This will help you to detect an attempted social-engineering attack.