Now scammers are targeting smartphones with a software that locks up the device until the victims pay a ransom to get the unlock code.
According to Symantec, malware like FakeAV and Ransomware which were prevalent on PCs for years now hitting the mobile devices. This particular threat has been named Android.Fakedefender and it has elements of both fake AV and ransomware attacks.
Fake AV displays a false malware detection in an effort to convince you into paying for software to remove the infection, while ransomware locks up your system (or mobile device) and prevents you from using it at all until the ransom is paid. It looks like a malware scan has detected an infection, but it also locks the Android device and prevents you from doing anything else until you pay the fee to download the “protection” app. The malware changes the settings of the operating system and disallows factory data reset on the device thus remaining on the device till a hard reset is done.
You can avoid these kind of attacks, first of all always download apps from trusted sources such as the Google Play store. For additional protection, you can install an antimalware app on your Android device. McAfee AntiVirus & Security and Symantec’s Norton Mobile Security are two of the most well known.