WARNING: Hackers have developed a WannaCry copycat that targets Android smartphones

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Security experts are warning about a new form of ransomware that is being used to target Android smartphones.

The ransomware, dubbed WannaLocker, was discovered by Avast, and has been targeting Android users in China.

The creators of the ransomware are said to have taken inspiration from WannaCry, the devastating cyber attack which infected Windows computers last month.

Even the WannaLocker’s ransom message looks very similar to the one used in the WannaCry attack, helping to trick victims into handing the ransom more quickly.

The ransomware infects devices after tricking users into downloading what they believe is a popular Chinese mobile game called King of Glory.

WannaLocker

Once infecting a device, WannaLocker changes the home screen wallpaper to display the ransom message, in then encrypts all the files storage on the phone’s external storage.

In order to release the files, WannaLocker demands payment of 40 yuan, around 200 baht.

However, unlike WannaCry which demanded ransom be paid in Bitcoin, the criminals behind WannaLocker demand payment in regular currency, which according to a report on Bleeping Computer, should make it easier for the authorities to trace them.

To avoid becoming a victim of ransomware, the advice from Avast is to frequently back up important data such as photos or contacts and to make sure you have antivirus software installed on your device.

The news comes a week after security experts from CheckPoint discovered a form of malware called Fireball which has already affected 250 million computers worldwide.

Fireball was reportedly created by a Chinese marketing firm and used to generate fraudulent ad revenue for its customers.

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