Posted on July 13, 2017 at 1:41 PM
There is a new malware out in the world, known under the name of LeakerLocker, and it’s threatening thousands of Android users. Unless a ransom is paid, hackers are promising to release individuals’ private information to all their contacts with the exception if a ransom is paid.
The information they are threatening to release is everything a victim has on their phone, like text messages, web histories, chat logs, emails and GPS locations.
Two apps found on Google’s Play Store have been found to have the so-called ransomware: Wallpapers Blur HD and Booster & Cleaner Pro. McAfee, a cyber security firm, is the one that detected them. When a person downloads either of these apps, they get a pop-up text claiming that the data from their phone had been taken and transferred to a safe server in the cloud.
The message says that with the small price of $50 you can stop your personal information to be sent to every person from your contact list. The deadline for the payment is 72 hours.
The message adds that there is no way to avoid the consequence of refusing to pay the ransom. Turning your phone off or even trying to break it will not affect the information stored in the cloud. There are two messages you receive depending on whether you gave in and paid the ransom or not: either that your privacy is in danger or that the data has been deleted and that you’re secured.
McAfee advises against doing what the malware asks of you since there is no real evidence that your personal data will indeed be released. It could only assist with spreading this version of the cyber attack.
Furthermore, experts state that the hacker’s claims are overblown. Fernando Ruiz and ZePeng Chen agree that they might be able to access only a limited amount personal data on endangered phones. They wrote that the malware can only go as far as reading individual’s email, random contacts, a few of the messages and calls and some info on the device itself.
Google has been contacted and an investigation has been launched on the apps in question. Both are now taken off from the Play Store.