An existing version of the Android device screen-locking malware SLocker has apparently been copied and repackaged in the form of a mobile coronavirus app, in hopes of drawing in victims and encouraging downloads from third-party marketplace sites.

Researchers at Bitdefender found the malicious app, which has been targeting users in Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and and parts of India and North Africa.

The Uzbek-language app, called "Koronavirus haqida" or "About Coronavirus," confounds its victims by locking the screen, prohibiting access and demanding a ransom payment to restore proper functionality. A ransom note says victims only have 20 minutes to pay before the phone is rendered unusable, but the threat is empty. However, the malware does require some effort to eradicate -- it survives a reboot and must be removed via the Android Debug Bridge or Safe Mode.

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