If you’re an Android user who likes to download pornography apps, beware of one in particular called Porn Droid. Hackers are using it to spread malware and demanding victims pay a hefty ransom.

The hackers, who are believed to be based in Russia, use social engineering, such as customizing emails and social media messages to target users. According to International Business Times, once the app is installed, it downloads a type of malware called LockerPIN, which works by resetting the phone’s PIN and locks the user out. The app displays a fake warning, made to look like it’s from the FBI, which tells users that their location and photos have been uploaded to the agency’s cyber crime data center. It then demands a “penalty payment” of $500. How rude!

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Even if the user makes the payment (let’s hope they don’t), their phone will still remain locked because the malware randomly resets the PIN. The only way to regain access to the Android would be through a factory reset, which will delete practically everything on the phone, like photos, videos and contacts, unless the user has already backed it up.


Contact the author at marie.lodi@jezebel.com.