New app secretly takes photos of people before locking phone and demanding ransomBy Mason White 5:50 PM September 8, 2015
|The ransom message|
By: Chan Yuan
People need to be careful when downloading apps onto their phones.
A malicious Android app was created to take photos of victims and locking the phone before demanding money to unlock the device, according to U.S. security firm Zscaler.
The app, which was named Adult Player, seems to offer adult videos, but secretly takes a picture of the user with the front facing camera.
Next, the user’s device is locked and the person’s photo is displayed on the ransomware screen, along with a message demanding $500 in order to have the phone unlocked.
The app is not available Google Play, but can be installed directly from a website.
On their website, Zscaler said that the ransom message keeps the phone’s screen switched on at all times, and reappears if the phone is rebooted.
The phone unlocks only after ransom of $500 is paid through Paypal. Police estimate that ransomware apps net about $100 million per year.