Researchers believe a spam campaign is spreading a new variant of mobile ransomware.
Malware called “Fake Defender,” was first discovered in June, but security firm Symantec has now detected that the malware's authors are using a different ruse to target Android users, primarily in Russia.
The malicious application, detected as fakedefender.B., is designed to look like the official application for an adult video website, a Wednesday blog post by Symantec researcher Roberto Sponchioni said. But once users install the app, messages warn them to run an antivirus scan that is supposedly Avast AV.
Once the spurious AV scan is finished, the user's phone is locked for their “protection,” and the app asks for a ransom payment of $100 via a prepaid MoneyPak card.