Android ransomware detections went up 137.8 percent over the second quarter of the year, the latest study conducted by software security firm Malwarebytes discovered. The surge in ransomware designed for attacking Android-powered devices is also thought to be one of the reasons why general Android malware is also becoming more commonplace, with detections of the thereof growing by 5.5 percentage points quarter-on-quarter during the three-month period ending June 30, the research revealed. The most popular families of Android ransomware during the observed period were Koler, Jisut, and SLocker, with the trio accounting for close to 95 percent of all ransomware detections on Android devices which Malwarebytes recorded in the first half of the year, the company said.
The cyber security firm also discovered that the popularity of the so-called "screen locker" ransomware has been surging in recent times, though it's currently unclear why this particular type of malicious software is now gaining more traction than its alternatives. The WannaCry ransomware attack which compromised hundreds of thousands of users around the world earlier in the year may have contributed to the fact that Android hackers started placing a larger focus on this type of software, though Malwarebytes doesn't speculate about the cause of the alarming trend. The company did state that users are to be wary of suspicious applications seeing how most Android screen lockers are distributed as either fake apps or updates, or are injected into otherwise functional mobile software. While ransomware contributed to the overall surge in Android malware detections in Q2 2017, mobile trojans were even stronger drivers of this trend, having accounted for nearly half of all Android malware which Malwarebytes discovered during the same period.
Simultaneously with the publication of its latest study, the Santa Clara, California-based company also announced Malwarebytes for Android, the latest update for its popular anti-malware app which debuts a broad range of new features and improvements. The revised version of the app is now more efficient at proactively searching your native storage and microSD card for spyware, malware, and adware, in addition to supporting scheduling automatic security scans and being able to provide you with advice on how to make your device more secure by identifying its potential software vulnerabilities. Malwarebytes for Android can be downloaded from the Google Play Store by following the banner below.