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Ransomware for mobile devices is starting to become more popular for attackers as infections grew three times in the first quarter, a new report found.

The number of mobile ransom files detected reached 218,625 during the first three months of 2017, compared to 61,832 during 2016’s last quarter, according to a new report from Kaspersky Lab.

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Trojan-Ransom.AndroidOS.Fusob.h remained the most widely used mobile ransomware, accounting for nearly 45 percent of all user attacks, according to the report.

Once this Trojan is run, it asks for admin privileges, collects information about the device, such as GPS coordinates and call history, and uploads the data to a malicious server. Depending on the data it receives, the server may send back a command to block the device. 

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“The U.S. topped the ranking of ten countries attacked by mobile Trojan-Ransomware; the most popular family there was Trojan-Ransom.AndroidOS.Svpeng. These Trojans appeared in 2014 as a modification of the Trojan-Banker.AndroidOS.Svpeng mobile banking family. They demand a ransom of $100-$500 from victims to unblock their devices,” researchers said.

Kaspersky Lab detected and repelled 480 million malicious attacks from online resources from over 190 countries, while 80 million unique URLs ended up recognized as malicious by web antivirus components.

“Attempted infections by malware that aims to steal money via online access to bank accounts were registered on 288,000 user computers,” the company said. 

Additionally, there were 1.2 million malicious installation packages and over 32,000 mobile banking Trojans, detected from Kaspersky’s mobile security products.

This is just yet another reminder security solutions aren’t meant just for PCs, but also for mobile devices, especially as the mobile threats continue to grow and multiply. Ransomware has become one of the go-to solutions of cyberattackers, mostly because it’s an easy way to make money.

Other online threat statistics from the Q1, 2017 report include:
• Kaspersky Lab solutions detected and repelled 479,528,279 malicious attacks from online resources located in 190 countries all over the world
• 79,209,775 unique URLs were recognized as malicious by web antivirus components
• Attempted infections by malware that aims to steal money via online access to bank accounts were registered on 288,000 user computers
• Crypto-ransomware attacks were blocked on 240,799 computers of unique users
• Kaspersky Lab’s file antivirus detected a total of 174,989,956 unique malicious and potentially unwanted objects
• Kaspersky Lab mobile security products also detected, 1,333,605 malicious installation packages; 32,038 mobile banking Trojans (installation packages)

Click here to download the entire report.

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