Fake Android porn app takes your photo, then holds it ransom

$500 to get your phone back

Smartphones have traditionally been a handy place to indulge in adult content without anyone watching over you. Until now.

Security research firm Zscaler has found a nasty piece of ransomware that tricks users into thinking they are downloading an Android-based pornography app. Once the app is opened, the ransomware takes a photo of the smartphone owner using the front camera, locks the phone and demands $500 (£330) to unlock the device.

The app in question is known as Adult Player. The ransomware demands money be paid via PayPal, after which the device will be decrypted and unblocked.

Embarrassment turned on

It's certainly not the first time that ransomware has been used in this way. Earlier this year Porn Droid, an almost identical piece of ransomware, asked for $500 on behalf of the FBI after claiming it had found the phone's user watching child pornography.

In the case of Adult Player, the embarrassment factor is ramped up by the fact that the ransom message keeps the handset's screen switched on at all times and comes back to haunt users even after the phone is restarted.

Anyone that has been caught by the trap is urged to follow the steps outlined by Zscaler in its piece of research covering the ransomware.

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