SECURITY CRYER Bitdefender has let off an alarm about UK-based Android devices, warning that they were hit by a huge array of ransomware attacks last year.
The good news is that it was last year. Also positive is the fact that Bitdefender offers security that keeps this kind of thing on the other side of your door, and it is also a fall on previous years.
Many Android users, presumably non-fussy safari-style downloaders and installers, have ceded to the ransom demands and coughed up. This problem is keenly felt in the UK, although other locations suffer, according to the Bitdefender Android Malware Threat Report H2 2015 (PDF).
"Bitdefender has discovered that ransomware was the largest malware risk to Android users by a significant margin in the second half of 2015. Predominantly distributed through malicious apps, Android.Trojan.Slocker accounted for 22 percent of Android malware threats in the UK in the latter half of the year," the report said.
"In total, Android ransomware accounted for 28 percent of reported Android malware in the UK for Q3 2015 and 19 per cent in Q4 2015. Bitdefender found that ransomware was 14 percent more prolific than its nearest competitor in Q3, and seven percent higher than the Q4 equivalent."
This is technology security news reporting, so of course Windows is pulled into this. Bitdefender said that Android malware is not as bad as Windows malware, but is still a pain.
The Slocker ransomware tops the charts in the UK, Germany and Australia. Bitdefender reckons that we have a problem on our small island because we tend to pay the ransom demands. No-one recommends that as a good idea.
"Due to the popularity of Android devices, malware developers will continue to write code specifically targeting them. Android malware is not only a lucrative business for hackers but a gateway for other malicious actions," said Catalin Cosoi, chief security strategist at Bitdefender.
"Users must avoid installing applications from unofficial vendors, instead only using those found on trusted marketplaces. Non-reputable apps have a high chance of containing malware such as ransomware or data-stealing trojans, resulting in significant financial or data loss."
Bitdefender said that 44 percent of respondents to a survey had already paid out to the bad guys. µ
To hear more about security challenges, the threats they pose and how to combat them, sign up for The INQUIRER sister site Computing's Enterprise Security and Risk Management conference, taking place on 24 November.
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