Ransomware can target mobile phones

Ransomware doesn’t only target desktop and laptop computers, but some cell phones as well, according to internet security experts.

“We’ve seen Ransomware start to be developed for Android mobile devices,” said Eric Klonowski, Senior Advanced Threat Research Analyst at the anti-virus company Webroot. “All this is a major concern.”

Image result for ransomware on mobileMobile phone ransomware looks very similar to what you might see on a computer.

Ransomware has not shown up on iPhones yet, Klonowski says.

“It’s highly unlikely that we will see iPhone ransomware sneak through the app store. In addition to reviewing all apps, Apple has a number of security measures in place that prevent apps from interacting with other apps or your pictures, data, etc. while installed,” he said. “Android phones also have similar security measures, but the user can often be coerced to disable it. Successful iPhone ransomware would require a very sophisticated attack on an unprecedented scale.”

Most hackers who design ransomware do it without much sophistication and find it most lucrative to design software for computers, he said.

“Ransomware is super easy to develop. These are concepts learned in Computer Science 101, file modification and very basic (encryption,) he said.  Klonowski suggests mobile and computer users back up their data to an external hard drive. Most mobile phones can be backed up to a computer and that data can then be copied to an external drive.

Once the backup is complete, he says users should disconnect the hard drive so if the computer or mobile phone is infected, it will not spread to the disconnected drive. Read more

Could Android be safe from a WannaCry-like attack

The WannaCry cyberattack has ensnared more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries by taking advantage of outdated versions of Windows that never got Microsoft’s crucial security patches. Millions of devices that are stuck on older versions of an operating system and don’t have access to the latest updates.

Image result for ransomware on mobileOnly 7.1 percent of its 1 billion users are on Nougat, better known as Android 7.0, the latest version of the mobile operating system. Nearly a third run on Android KitKat or older — versions that came out more than three years ago.

“Over time, the more that Android versions age out, you’re going to have an increasing attack surface for bad guys,” said Josh Feinblum, vice president of information security at Rapid7.

There are key differences between Windows and Android that keep the mobile operating system safe from WannaCry’s clutches. Even with so many different flavors of Android, including versions tweaked by phone makers like Samsung or LG, it’s unlikely that users are in for a wide-scale attack.

While Android isn’t susceptible to WannaCry, it could be open to other attacks, including closed-off ransomware incidents.

But for now, the WannaCry ransomware — a cyber shakedown in which hackers lock your computer and demand money to fix it — is solely a problem found on Windows. Read more

Innovation and tech disruption potential for Africa

A new study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers Daron Acemoglu and Pascual Restrepo estimates “large and robust negative effects of robots on employment and wages” in the United States.

Image result for mobile in africa

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The study appears to contradict the authors’ 2016 study, which concluded that a rise in automation lowers the cost of production using labor, “and thus discourages further automation and encourages the faster creation of new complex tasks.”

But in an attempt to calm public anxiety over technological disruption among those often derided as technophobes, Satyajit Das argues that the world economy has reached “peak technology”. He suggests that 85% of the economic benefits of technology has already been reaching and is projected to reach 95% by 2038.

Read more from Professor Calestous Juma

How to remove Android virus from your phone

[Image: Android pop-up virus]The most common Android malicious apps will do at least one of the following:

  • Collect and send GPS coordinates, contact lists, e-mail addresses etc. to third parties
  • Send SMSs to premium-rate numbers
  • Subscribe infected phones to premium services
  • Record phone conversations and send them to attackers
  • Take control over the infected phone
  • Download other malware onto infected phones
  • “Push notifications ads” delivering alerts to a phone’s notification bar – when the user swipes to pull down the notification bar from the top of the screen, an ad shows up under Notifications.
  • “Icon ads” inserted onto a phone’s start screen – when the user touches the icon, it usually launches a search engine or a web service.
  • STEP 1: Uninstall the malicious apps from Android

    Android phone will get infected with viruses from a malicious app that is installed on the smartphones. In this first step, we will try to identify and uninstall any malicious app that might be installed on your Android phone.

    1. To uninstall the malicious app from your Android device, go to the Settings menu, then click on Apps or Application manager (this may differ depending on your device).
    2. This will bring up a list of installed apps, including the malicious app. If you cannot find the malicious app, we advise you to uninstall all the recently installed applications.
    3. Touch the app you’d like to uninstall.This won’t start the app, but will open up the program’s App Info screen. If the app is currently running press the Force stop button. Next we will clear the cache and data, and we will uninstall the unwanted app.
      1. First tap on the Clear cache button to remove the cache.
      2. Next, tap on the  Clear data button to remove the app data from your Android phone.
      3. And finally tap on the Uninstall button to remove the malicious app.
    4. A confirmation dialog should be displayed for the malicious app, click on “OK” to remove the malicious app from your Android phone.
    5. Restart your Android device.
  • STEP 2: Scan your device with Zemana Mobile Antivirus

    In this step, we will scan your Android phone for malware with Zemana Mobile Antivirus application. Zemana Mobile Antivirus is a free anti-malware application which will help us detect if any malicious app or file is installed on your device.

  • STEP 3: Clean-up the junk files from Android with Ccleaner

    In this step we will clean the cache of your device with the Ccleaner application. CCleaner is a free app, which will help us clean up your device from junk files.

    1. You can download Ccleaner from the below link:
      CCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download Ccleaner)
    2. Click on the “Install” button, and when the app permissions will be displayed click on “Accept” to install Ccleaner on your device.
  • (OPTIONAL) STEP 4: Reset your router to the factory settings

    In recent attacks, cyber criminals are infecting the router to redirect the Android devices to different websites. Resetting the router to the default settings will remove the malicious redirects, however you will need to reconfigure all the settings.

    When you reset your router the following settings are changed:

    • Router username and password
    • Wi-Fi username and password
    • ISP username and password
    • Any port-forwards you have set up
    • Any firewall settings you have made
    • Basically, any configuration changes that you have made to your router.