Android porn app takes a selfie and demands $500 ransom

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A PORNOGRAPHY APPLICATION is posing a problem by taking photographs and using them as part of a blackmail scheme, according to insecurity firm Zscaler.

Wow, that does sound inconvenient. We imagine that people are not looking their best at the time of the photos being taken, and we imagine that no-one would want to be unexpectedly shown them and shaken down for some money.

Zscaler said that it stumbled on the problem – we know how that goes – during an online session.

“During the course of our daily malware hunt, we came across a new mobile ransomware variant that leverages pornography to lure victims into downloading and installing it,” wrote Zscaler security researcher Shivang Desai in a blog post.

“This ransomware acts as a porn app named Adult Player and lures victims who assume it is a pornographic video player. When the victim starts using it, the app silently takes a photo of the victim, which is then displayed on the ransomware screen along with the ransom message.”

Most people will not stumble on this. Adult Player downloaders will know what they are in for, and it is only people who have actively pawed at the application and installed it who will find themselves red-faced for all the wrong reasons.

The ransom demand is $500, and is apparently the only way to rid your Android device of the malicious menace. Zscaler calls it a reflection attack, adding that it uses methods designed to evade analysis and detection.

Once installed, the application waits until it is in use, checks for a front camera and takes an inglorious selfie of the user. This image would presumably be enough to encourage most victims to cough up.

Of course, the advice in these situations is not to pay up but to take measures to clean up the problem. Firms like Zscaler are here to help in such situations, and it has offered a walkthrough.

The other regular recommendation is to install apps, whatever type they are, only from official sites and stores.

Source: Android porn app takes a selfie and demands $500 ransom- The Inquirer

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