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Windows continues to be the operating system most commonly targeted with ransomware threats – but malware that attempts to extort money out of you isn’t just for the Microsoft-based anymore.  A new report published by Kaspersky shows that mobile device ransomware is a fast-growing sector of the ransomware pie.  Facts from the report, as well as some marketing puffery, state:

  • “From April 2014 to March 2015, Kaspersky Lab security solutions for Android protected 35,413 users from mobile ransomware. A year later the number had increased almost four-fold to 136,532 users.”
  • Most of the affected users are reported to be based in the United States, followed by Germany, Canada, and the UK.
  • “The share of users attacked with ransomware as a proportion of users attacked with any kind of malware also increased: from 2.04% in 2014-2015 to 4.63% in 2015-2016. The growth curve may be less that that seen for PC ransomware, but it is still significant enough to confirm a worrying trend.”
  • Android attacks are typically designed to block access to the phone.  This is known as “lock screen ransomware”.

 

The best defense for Android users is to stick to the same security basics used on workstations:

  • Be extremely cautious of installing apps from third-party sites
  • Backup important data on a regular basis
  • Run an endpoint security solution (we like Sophos)

 

More about the rise of mobile ransomware can be found here.