Ransomware, the malware that locks down its victim’s files until they pay up, has always been a frustrating issue to deal with. However, a recent mobile ransomware will make the issue a little more personal… by sharing the victim’s mobile browsing history.
This introduces an important question: how much is it worth to you for your browsing history to kept secret? According to LeakerLocker, the answer is $50. This Android malware will steal the user’s browsing history, along with photos and videos from the device, any Facebook messages, and the user’s location history, all along with other sensitive information the mobile device has access to.
Admittedly, considering what many may have on their phones that they don’t want others to see, LeakerLocker utilizes a potent motivation: the fear of embarrassment. Think to yourself for a moment--do you have anything on your phone that you’d rather not anyone else know about?
LeakerLocker asks, is $50 enough to keep your secrets hidden from view?
Unlike many examples of ransomware, the researchers at McAfee have discovered that LeakerLocker seems not to encrypt any data. Rather, the ransomware allegedly takes a backup of all information on the infected device, which is then used to blackmail the owner into paying up.
This ransomware was spread via two Google Play Store apps, Wallpapers Blur HD and Booster & Channel Cleaner Pro. These fraudulent applications have since been removed. A major red flag for these apps were the incredible amount of permissions that LeakerLocker obtained through them. These apps requested the ability to both read and send messages, manage the device’s calls, and access the contact list. Once approved, LeakerLocker shuts the user out of the device and demands its ransom through the lock screen--and thanks to the access the user had just given the app, it can easily seem that paying the ransom is the only option.
However, there is no way of knowing for sure if LeakerLocker has actually accessed the data it claims to. Having said that, it has been confirmed that the ransomware can access the device’s browsing history, along with text and email messages, the device’s calling history, and yes, camera images.
As we recommend when someone is dealing with any form of ransomware, paying the ransom will almost certainly do you no good. Where’s the guarantee that the hackers haven’t scammed you out of the cost of your data, and that the money you’ve given them won’t finance their next heist?