Android ransomware masquerades as Symantec mobile AV

A new piece of Android ransomware is doing rounds, and is tricking users into installing it by posing as a legitimate AV app.

The malware sports a logo similar to that of Symantec’s Norton Mobile Security solution, and once installed and run, it launches a bogus scan progress bar:

The app pretends to find infected files, and asks users to grant it administrator privileges in order to remove them.

This allows it to lock the device, and the user is shown a fake FBI notice claiming the user visited illicit adult sites. Naturally, this “charges” can go away and the device will be unlocked once the user pays up $500 via a GreenDot MoneyPak card.

Fortunately, the malware does not encrypt any files, and the device can be easily unlocked by entering a 14-digit number that eschews predictable combinations like 00000, 11111, 12345, etc.

“If these requirements are met, the Trojan forwards the card number to the attackers’ server, unlocks the device and initiates its own removal,” Dr. Web researchers shared.

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