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Ransomware On Mobile Devices Is Climbing At An Alarming Rate

By March 11, 2017March 1st, 2023Cybersecurity

Remember in the ancient past, two years ago, when Ransomware first made its appearance, infecting hospitals and banks?

That’s still happening, of course. But now, the hackers have a new target: mobile devices.
Increasingly, hackers are shifting their attention to smartphones. The idea is that although there’s not as much money in them individually, with so many of them in service today, the hackers have what amounts to an unlimited pool of potential victims.

On average, a cellphone locked via Ransomware will net a hacker about $450 USD. Just as with PC infections, about the only choices a cellphone owner has is to pay the fee or reset the phone to factory default settings. That means losing all contact information, apps, pictures and videos they may have on the phone itself.

The hackers have found that overwhelmingly, smartphone owners are willing to pay the phone, because it’s simply too much trouble, time and effort to rebuild your contacts list and restore all the apps most people have installed.

While the rate of infection is still quite small, it’s growing at an alarming rate, having increased by a staggering 50% in the past year alone.

This emerging trend underscores the importance of education and training. Given that employees are increasingly using their smartphones to do work, the increasing rate of infection could put work files and proprietary data at risk. Even if it doesn’t, it can easily result in increased downtime.

The first and best defense is to only download apps from either the Google Playstore or the Apple iStore. Invariably, third party vendors don’t have as many checks and their security isn’t as robust. There’s no app available on a third party store you have such a critical need for that your employees can’t take an extra few minutes to get from a more secure source. It’s just not worth the risk.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.