Ransomware being one of the oldest threat faced by desktop and notebook users have made a huge impact on few countries. Ransomware is a kind of malware which encrypts all the documents, media and other files on your device and demands some ransom to grant you the access to those files.
Like other malware found online, even ransomware has two variants. One that locks only certain files present on your device and other that locks your entire system. Smartphones are normally attacked by the latter one. But According to Google, the Android users don't have to worry much about it since only a few apps from Google Play have ever contained ransomware till date.
Also Read: Understanding Ransomware
Jason Woloz, senior Program Manager, Android Security says, "Since 2015, less than 0.00001 percent of installations from Google Play, and less than .01 percent of installations from sources other than Google Play were categorized as ransomware. That's less than the odds of getting struck by lightning twice in your lifetime."
But as a precaution, the company want its Android users to know that they are on the safer end if they follow few guidelines outlined by them. Such safety measures are already implemented in its Android 7.0 Nougat release to protect your device from this malware.
Jason describes one such measure as a ‘safety blinders' which ensures that an Android application will not be able to see other active apps running on the device at the same time.
So, the apps with ransomware cannot understand what other apps are doing currently. This, in turn, protects your phone by not letting the attacker know your device's activity.
The search Giant has also made few changes in its lock screen feature to prevent this kind of attacks. Now one cannot easily misuse permission settings to change user's lock screen PIN.
Along with providing security from ransomware, it also protects you from another privacy threat known as clickjacking. In clickjacking, the apps permission will be granted to the attacker without user's knowledge. This is a serious threat, though.
Another best feature of Android is, all the apps are already sandboxed for safety. It ensures that all the applications in your device operate independently of each other.
One cannot easily access your contact list by using other apps on your phone. It requires user's consent before sharing any such data with other apps. Though it's not impossible to break out this sandbox, but is said to be a very complicated task.
Other than these built-in security features, a user can protect himself from such attacks by carefully downloading apps from sites other than Google's Play Store. By enabling Android's Verify apps feature, one can prevent from such harmful effects.
It scans all the apps which are downloaded from other sources for malware. This scanning takes place both before downloading as well as after installing it on your device.
Reboot Or Reset:
Even after your device is accidentally infected by this malware, you don't have to pay any ransom if you try booting it into the safe mode. By doing this, you will lose all the apps installed on you and your device will have only those apps which were present initially while unboxing.
If this boot is successful, then you can uninstall the app having ransomware in it and reboot the device once again.
If safe mode does not work, then you can reset your phone to factory settings. But before resetting, make sure you have backed up all your data.