Android ransomware pretending to be FBI warning
There's a spate of cases where Android users are finding that ransomware has been posing as a warning from the FBI, to frighten you off from looking at dirty stuff online. These come via spam emails, and there's been 15,000 cases thus far, which are very convincing.
If you end up activating one of them, the ransomware demands $500 from you to restore access, which is a kick in the gusset. Of course, UK Android users should be wary of anything that comes from the FBI, because why would they be bothering with Steve from Cleethorpes or whatever.
It gets worse - if you try to independently unlock your devices, the amount goes up to $1,500.
This particular malware pretends to be an update from Adobe Flash Player and when you press 'OK' to continue, you see an FBI warning which you can't navigate away from. It tells you that you've been breaking the law by visiting pornographic websites and, in a clever (but nasty) move, the scammers include screenshots of what they claim to be your browsing history. Then, it claims to have screenshots of your face and says that they know your location.
Basically, the malware doesn't actually encrypt the contents of your phone, but instead, makes your device's home screen button and back buttons completely inoperable. Turning your phone on and off won't help either. It really is a nasty piece of work, but you can attempt a reboot in safe mode.
How to start your Android device in Safe Mode
- Ensure that your device's screen is on and then press and hold the power button.
- In the dialogue box that opens, touch and hold 'power off'.
- Touch 'OK' when you see 'Reboot to safe mode' box.
- Your device will start up in safe mode.
Also, to be safe, it is worth having your antivirus software on the go. If you don't have antivirus software installed on your Android device, here are the best apps to download.