Recently, Google has identified and removed a new type of ransomware embedded in a fake energy-saving application. Dubbed Charger, the new type of ransomware would infiltrate the user’s phone, stealing personal data, and render the phone useless before the user can react. Cybersecurity specialists have reasons to believe that the person or persons who created the ransomware might be hiding in Russia, Belarus or Ukraine.
We know how hard it is to conserve energy, especially when your phone’s apps drain the battery like there’s no tomorrow. Probably the most popular method to prevent your phone’s battery from dying out on you is to download a fancy energy-saving application.
However, you should be extra careful when downloading such apps. While some of them are hoaxes, meaning that they don’t do anything useful in the area of energy conservation, other might harbor dangerous content, that might irreversibly damage your phone or worse.
Google recently identified such a threat, which took the form of a malicious code embedded in an energy-saving application called Energy Rescue.
The publisher advertises that the application is the ultimate battery saving solution. However, after installing it, the apps would ask your permission to access some sensitive areas such as contacts list, social media applications, and even mobile banking app, which is pretty unusual for an energy conservation application.
According to Google and several cyber security specialists, Energy Rescue is pretty useless. However, buried inside it is a ransomware so menacing, that it can strip you of your identity bit by bit.
After downloading and installing the Energy Rescue, the app will prompt you for permissions. After accepting them, your phone’s screen will display a prompt but sinister message saying that it won’t do you any good to turn off your phone and that your personal data has already left your phone and are stored on a compromised server.
The ransomware also locks your phone and tells you that if you don’t pay $180, your personal information will be sold piece by piece every 30 minutes. Ironically enough, it would seem that the application also has a 100% guaranteed satisfaction policy, meaning that it assures you that once you’ve paid, you will be able to use your phone and to keep your personal information.
Luckily, Google managed to identify and to purge the ransomware from Google Play. For the moment, we can be sure that our information remains inside our phones.
Image source: Flickr