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Microsoft warns of Android ransomware that activates when you press the Home button

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A new strain of mobile ransomware abuses the mechanisms behind the “incoming call” notification and the “Home” button to lock screens on users’ devices.

Named AndroidOS/MalLocker.B, the ransomware is hidden inside Android apps offered for download on online forums and third-party websites.

Just like most Android ransomware strains, MalLocker.B doesn’t actually encrypt the victim’s files but merely prevents access to the rest of the phone.

Once installed, the ransomware takes over the phone’s screen and prevents the user from dismissing the ransom note — which is designed to look like a message from local law enforcement telling users they committed a crime and need to pay a fine.

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Image: Microsoft

Ransomware posing as fake police fines has been the most popular form of Android ransomware for more than half a decade now.

Across time, these malware strains have abused various functions of the Android operating systems in order to

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