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Wednesday, 29 April 2020 09:42

Check Point finds old Android malware has added ransomware function

Check Point finds old Android malware has added ransomware function Pixabay

Security firm Check Point says it has encountered fresh samples of the Black Rose Lucy malware-as-a-service family, that it discovered in 2018, which have an added functionality: ransomware.

Researchers Ohad Mana, Aviran Hazum, Bogdan Melnykov and Liav Kuperman said in a blog post that the Android malware was originally a MaaS botnet and dropper.

The added ransomware capabilities allow Lucy to gain control of infected devices, make changes and install new malicious applications.

When Lucy infects an Android device, it displays a note after installation which is claimed to be from the FBI. This note states that the user's details have been sent to the agency's Cyber Crime Department's Data Centre, and lists a number of offences allegedly committed by the victim.

A fine of US$500 is demanded, but unusually through a credit-card payment, and not through cryptocurrency as is common with Windows ransomware.

The researchers said they had found more than 80 samples which were being distributed as social media links and instant messaging apps.

"Although we have not yet seen many mobile ransomware out there, we have observed an evolution," they said.

"Mobile ransomware is getting more and more sophisticated and efficient, as shown by Lucy, and this represents an important milestone in the evolution of mobile malware.

"Sooner or later, the mobile world will experience a major destructive ransomware attack."

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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