You might be using your Android apps to play games, download movies and books, banking and many more. But the same is now being used by cyber-thieves to build their own ransomware. A new tool, called Trojan Development Kit helps even neophyte hackers to create any file locking malware on your Android device.
This ransomware developing tool comes all the way from China. Earlier, ransomware attacks were detected in PCs or laptops. But now, with the evolution of technology the malware strains have arrived in your handsets too.
The point to note is here is that this kit which has recently surfaced, is being distributed for free via underground means. With this trojan development kit, you need not type a single code for the malware. This information was furnished by the Principal threat analysis engineer at Symantec, Dinesh Venkatesan. “The entire process of creating a ready-to-use piece of malware is done on a smartphone without any requirement to write a single line of code,” he said.
You might not catch it in your Google Play Stores. As of now, the TDKs are being distributed through China’s Great Firewall. It is also observed to circulate by advertisements on a social networking app of China.
This ransomware is designed especially for the Chinese wannabe virtual looters. While, the tool might show up in different languages at later stages, modifying the interface language.
“These apps are not just useful for aspiring and inexperienced cyber criminals as even hardened malware authors could find these easy-to-use kits an efficient alternative to putting the work in themselves. We expect to see an increase in mobile ransomware variants as these development kits become more widespread,” Venkatesan continued.
The TDKs are up for subscription. A one-time payment may even allow you to contact the criminal mastermind.
These TDKs operate with the support of Device-Aided Malware Engineering (DAME) or Computer-Aided Software Engineering (CASE) tool models. It allows customization of messages displayed on locked screens as well as mathematical operations for randomizing the code, key to unlock any infected device, and the malware icon.
Symantec security researchers report that this tool runs on the Lockdroid pattern. It means that hackers can lock your device with this tool. You would be notified with a System Alert Window, where you would be asked to pay money to unlock your device. In this way, the growth of the Android ransomware market promulgates.
However, you should maintain safety at your end. You should primarily install a sound mobile security app, while keeping your firmware updated. Do make back-up of your mobile data. Install your required apps only from trusted official sources, and keep a watch over unnecessary permissions for installations.