Mobile ransomware can now be created with no knowledge of programming or hacking required

The days when hackers had to write their own scripts and run exploits to gain access to the computers has all but gone as there are tons of free and premium Trojan Development Kits (TDKs) now available that can be used to create malware without any knowledge of programming or hacking.

A Chinese Android ransomware creation kit is being spread on hacking forums and Chinese social networking websites. The app doesn’t need any coding skills to generate a ransomware variant on the device itself. The hacker simply needs to make a one-time payment to be able to create unlimited variants.

Symantec’s Dinesh Venkateshan spotted a specially crafted Android-based application that can be used to develop a functional Android ransomware. The whole process of creating the ransomware is automated with the help of a DAME (Device-Aided Malware Engineering) tool model.

The app features an easy-to-use interface. Different functions available in the app are:

  • Icon to be used for malware
  • Key to be used to unlock the device
  • Message to be displayed on the locked screen of infected device
  • Custom operations to randomize the code
  • Animation to be shown on infected device

While the app is free to download and take a look at its features, when the hacker hits the “create” button, he/she will be asked to make a one-time payment. Once the payment is complete, the hacker can create as many ransomware versions as they want.

The ransomware created using this process mimics the Lockdroid behavior of locking the screen. The entire process is done on the smartphone without any need to write a single piece of code.

Symantec has also listed some security measures that one can take to defeat the ransomware attacks. These measures include — regular software updates, downloading apps only from Play Store, creating a backup of data, taking a look at the requested permissions, and installing a security app.

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