Android ransomware increased by more than 50% in 2016, this is the highest number of attempts to penetrate devices ever seen. These findings are presented in ESET’s latest annual data based on its LiveGrid® technology in the white paper “Trends in Android Ransomware”.

Other key findings from the whitepaper include:

In 2015, ESET observed that the focus of Android ransomware operators shifted from Eastern European to US mobile users. However, last year demonstrated a growing interest by the attackers in the Asian market. “Indeed it is fair to say that ransomware for Android has become a full-scale global threat,” says ESET Chief Technology Officer Juraj Malcho, who will address this topic during MWC 2017.

Authors of lock-screen as well as file-encrypting “crypto-ransomware” types have used the past 12 months to copycat effective techniques from desktop malware. They have also developed their own sophisticated methods specialized for targets running Android devices.

Cybercriminals have also been putting increased effort into keeping a low profile, by encrypting and burying the malicious payload deeper into the infected apps.

A blog post on the findings is available here: http://www.welivesecurity.com/2017/02/20/trends-android-ransomware/

The full whitepaper is available here: http://www.welivesecurity.com/wpcontent/uploads/2017/02/ESET_Trends_2017_in_Android_Ransomware.pdf