Dangerous Android app lets would-be hackers create ransomware without writing any code

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The days of needing the coding expertise of an completed hacker to construct malware are over, at the very least if information from Symantec is true.

The antivirus and cybersecurity firm lately reported the existence of a Trojan Development Kit (TDK) that permits anybody to create Android ransomware—no coding ability required.

Symantec Principal Threat Analysis Engineer Dinesh Venkatesan says that the most recent TDK discovery continues a pattern from earlier within the 12 months when TDKs have been first found.

As the variety of accessible ransomware-generating apps will increase so will the size of the menace for Android customers. With the cell OS already rife with malware there’s nothing good to be gained from the common person with the ability to create malicious APKs with only a few faucets of a display.

nevarpp, Getty Images/iStockphoto

How to make no-code ransomware

The newest TDK, like these earlier than it, could be discovered on hacking boards and even in social media ads in China. All the person has to do is obtain the APK and set up it and so they’re able to construct ransomware.

The course of itself is easy: Just specify a ransom message, an unlock key, the ransomware’s app icon, mathematical operations to randomize the code, and an animation to indicate on the contaminated machine.

SEE: Android ransomware up greater than 50%, locking customers’ units till they pay (TechRepublic)

After the no-code ransomware builder finishes specifying these few easy choices they’re prompted to subscribe to the app, which they will do with a one-time cost to the developer. Once paid for, the app purchaser is free to create as many customized ransomware variants as desired.

The solely factor the app leaves to the ransomware builder is distribution: All it does is present the APK file.

Once put in, the app-created ransomware acts similar to Lockdroid, an Android ransomware that has been round since 2014. So whereas the app-generated ransomware is not something new, it is nonetheless a menace for Android units that are not stored updated or that lack an anti-malware app.

Keeping your Android machine secure

Symantec’s weblog publish about TDKs does point out one good factor, at the very least for English-speaking Android customers: TDKs all appear geared toward Chinese-speaking audiences. The article additionally notes that it will be easy to vary the language of the interface, so do not anticipate issues to stay secure for lengthy.

SEE: Android Security Bulletin August 2017: What it’s good to know (TechRepublic)

As extra no-code malware apps are created, the edge for benefiting from them will decrease. Eventually, the common legal with a modicum of tech know-how might toss ransomware out as quick as they will make it.

Staying secure in that sort of surroundings shall be even more durable than it’s now, but it surely’s not unattainable:

  • Keep your machine updated and apply the most recent patches as quickly as they’re accessible.
  • Never set up apps from outdoors the Google Play retailer.
  • Avoid rooting your machine—it makes it a lot simpler for malware to execute instructions it wants to put in itself.
  • Make positive you will have an antivirus app put in in your machine.
  • Never obtain an attachment from a sender or web site you possibly can’t fully belief.

Top three takeaways for TechRepublic readers:

  1. Symantec reported the existence of Android apps that enable customers to generate ransomware with none programming expertise. Getting ahold of 1 is as simple as visiting the appropriate hacking boards.
  2. The ransomware-generating apps are presently solely in Chinese, however Symantec reviews it will be easy to vary the language and thus prolong the app’s market.
  3. Secure your Android machine by putting in an antivirus app, not rooting, solely putting in apps from the Google Play retailer, and preserving it updated.

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