A new type of malware that threatens to send private pictures, messages and internet browsing history to your personal contact list has been discovered, announced security firm McAfee.
The latest attack, called LeakerLocker, affects Android phones through apps downloaded from the Google Play store.
Usually, ransomware locks up private files or hard drives, but this particular malware takes private data and browsing history and threatens to share it with friends and family if the user refuses to pay $50.
According to McAfee, the apps Wallpapers Blur HD and Booster & Cleaner Pro both carry the threat, and have the potential to send sensitive and personal information to all contacts on your phone.
McAfee commented, “LeakerLocker locks the home screen and accesses private information in the background thanks to its victims granting permission at installation time.”
“Not all the private data that the malware claims to access is read or leaked. The ransomware can read a victim’s email address, random contacts, Chrome history, some text messages and calls, pick a picture from the camera, and read some device information.”
At this time, Google has not released any statements on the threat.
The two apps, Wallpapers Blur HD has been downloaded between 5,000 and 10,000 times and has a rating of 3.6 stars (out of five), and Booster & Cleaner Pro has between 1,000 and 5,000 downloads and a 4.5-star rating.
If LeakerLocker does manage to infect your phone, McAfee has suggested to refuse the $50 ransom it demands, in the hopes to curb the proliferation of this malicious business.
“In this case, the malware will ask for your credit card number and if, the money goes through, a display message will appear: ‘our [sic] personal data has been deleted from our servers and your privacy is secured.’ If they payment isn’t successful, it will read: ‘No payment has been made yet. Your privacy is in danger’.”
Both applications have been reported to Google, which is currently undergoing an investigation.