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Mobile ransomware on the rise: Fortinet

Nurdianah Md Nur | July 21, 2014
The four mobile ransomware recently detected are the Simplocker, Crytolocker, FakeDefend and iCloud 'Oleg Pliss'.

Ransomware is increasingly targeting mobile devices worldwide, said network security provider Fortinet in a press statement.

Ransomware is a form of malware that restricts usage of the infected device until the ransom is paid to the creator(s) of the malware. While computers are the usual targets of ransomware, mobile devices are now falling prey to it too.

"As mobile device adoption continues to gain pace, hackers have found a new lucrative target in handsets, in addition to traditional PCs," said Ruchna Nigam, security researcher at FortiGuard Labs, Fortinet.

Four mobile ransomware that were recently detected by FortiGuard Labs include the Simplocker, which comes in the form of Trojanised apps such as a Flash player; Cryptolocker, which disguises as a fake BaDoink video downloader app; iCloud 'Oleg Pliss', which uses compromised iCloud accounts in combination with social engineering; and FakeDefend, which disguises as a fake antivirus app for Android phones.  

To guard against mobile ransomware, Nigam advises users to always install apps from trusted sources, and have a functional antivirus software on their phone to help prevent or at least warn against installation of infected applications. iPhone and iPad users should also activate and set passcodes on their devices as the 'iCloud Oleg Pliss' malware does not work if the device has a phone lock, she added. 


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