Android smartphones are the target of an ugly fast moving scam working its way around the country that could cost you $500.
With the ransomware of the past, a virus was loaded on your computer and it shut down your computer. Then you had to buy it back from the crooks. Though it wasn’t worth paying the ransom, according to the techies, because they left too many things behind on your computer that continued to track you. So your computer essentially became a doorstop.
New breed of ransomware hijacks your camera
Now the ransomware is getting more sophisticated. The Australian reports the new breed of ransomware is breeding spread through an adult content app called Adult Player. If you download this unapproved app, it will hijack your front-facing camera and take pictures of you. Then the app shuts down your phone and threatens to send the images of you to all your contacts — unless you pay $500 via Paypal.
If someone is holding your computer hostage for money, never pay the ransom. There’s no way to tell the scammers will do what they say and not load additional viruses on your computer. Second, you’re rewarding bad behavior if you pay them.
A security blog called zScaler recommends the following action if your phone is being hijacked by Adult Player:
- Boot device into safe mode (Please note that entering ‘safe mode’ varies depending on your device). Safe mode boots the device with default settings without running third party apps.
- Uninstalling ransomware from device requires you to first remove administrator privilege. To do the same, go to Settings –> Security –> Device Administrator and select ransomware app, then deactivate.
- Once this is done, you can go to Settings –> Apps –> Uninstall ransomware app.
Another thing you might try doing is installing the legitimate app called LogMeOnce. This password manager actually lets you take a photo of whoever is trying to hack you, which you can then share with the police!