The malware Android/Simplocker, available as a bogus app, seems at present to be a proof-of-concept rather than a fully-fledged attack ready for mass release.
Only last month, Lipovsky reported on an Android worm, Samsapo.A. which displayed as an SMS message with text reading “Это твои фото?” (which is Russian for “Is this your photo?”) and a link to the malicious APK package.
In ESET’s Threat Trends Report predictions for this year, ESET experts warned of “an escalating increase in serious threats targeting Android phones and tablets – ESET detections of such malware increased more than 60% between 2012 and 2013. This trend is predicted to continue in 2014.”
ESET Latin America’s Research Laboratory in Buenos Aires points out that malware afflicting Android now uses classic PC attack methods – the discovery of vulnerabilities, then their exploitation through malicious code.
Thankfully, most of these threats can be avoided by sensible use of your device. Robert Lipovsky writes, “We encourage users to protect themselves against these threats using prevention and defensive measures. Adhering to security best practices, such as keeping away from untrustworthy apps and app sources, will reduce your risks. And if you keep current backups of all your devices then any ransomware or Filecoder trojan – be it on Android, Windows, or any operating system – is nothing more than a nuisance.”