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Fraud & Identity Theft

Android Ransomware Asks for Victim’s Credit Card Info

Ransomware Capabilities Added to ‘Lucy’ Android Malware

A piece of Android ransomware uses a scareware tactic to extort money from victims: it asks them to provide their credit card information to pay a “fine,” Check Point reveals.

Ransomware Capabilities Added to ‘Lucy’ Android Malware

A piece of Android ransomware uses a scareware tactic to extort money from victims: it asks them to provide their credit card information to pay a “fine,” Check Point reveals.

Dubbed Black Rose Lucy, or simply Lucy, the malicious program was initially discovered in 2018 as a Malware-as-a-Service (MaaS) botnet and dropper for Android devices. Since then, the threat has evolved with capabilities that allow it to encrypt files and take over the victim’s device.

After being downloaded to a smartphone, Lucy encrypts files and displays a ransom note in the browser window, claiming that the FBI has evidence of pornographic material being stored on the device and demanding that a $500 “fine” be paid.

The note also claims that the victim’s details have been uploaded to the FBI Cyber Crime Department’s Data Center, and asks for the user’s credit card information.

Check Point identified over 80 samples associated with the new Lucy variant, being distributed through social media links and IM apps, posing as a harmless-looking video player program.

When installed, Lucy displays a fake message instructing the user to enable Streaming Video Optimization (SVO). The message is meant to trick the user into providing the malware with the permissions to use the device’s accessibility service.

Armed with the new permissions, the malware can grant itself administrator privileges on the device, and then proceed with its malicious activities unhindered.

Lucy can perform various operations based on commands received from the command and control (C&C) server, such as making phone calls, listing the device’s directories and installed apps, opening a remote shell on the device, displaying a message that payment was declined, and deleting itself.

The malware also encrypts targeted files, checks whether the encryption was successful, and then displays to the victim the aforementioned ransom note, which includes a list of legal offenses the victim supposedly committed.

“Although we have not yet seen many mobile ransomware out there, we have observed an evolution. Mobile ransomware is getting more and more sophisticated and efficient, as shown by Lucy, and this represents an important milestone in the evolution of mobile malwares. Sooner or later, the mobile world will experience a major destructive ransomware attack,” Check Point concludes.

Related: Researchers Discover Hidden Behavior in Thousands of Android Apps

Related: Rare Android Stalkerware Can Steal Data, Control Devices

Related: ‘Cookiethief’ Android Malware Hijacks Facebook Accounts

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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