Microsoft recently published a security blog that warned about a sophisticated new ransomware variant. Not, as you might expect, ransomware that impacts users of the Windows operating system, though. Nope, instead, this was a warning for Android users.
The discovery of a context-aware machine learning code module in the MalLocker.B certainly deserves the sophisticated tag. However, that module has yet to be activated, and more of that in a moment. What has grabbed the attention of Android users who have read the various reports online, it would seem, is the fact that MalLocker.B can effectively brick phones only with a press of the home button when answering a call. But how true is that, and how worried should Android smartphone users actually be?
First things first, this is a fascinating and highly detailed bit of technical blogging from the Microsoft security folk. As such, that is to be welcomed, as is all information that helps us understand how threats, including ransomware, are evolving. Most users, however, will not have read that report for the very same reason: it’s a technical deep dive. That’s a shame, but not unsurprising. The job of journalists and reporters in the information security space is to explain such highly technical revelations in a way that can be absorbed by almost anyone regardless of their level of technical understanding.
On the whole, I think ‘we’ do a pretty decent job of that, and the MalLocker.B reporting is no exception. Apart from one thing: my inbox would suggest that many readers are coming away with the idea that their Android smartphones are in danger of being bricked simply because they have pressed the home button in response to an incoming call. That is