App lets hackers develop Android ransomware without code

Creating malware isn’t rocket science anymore. Unlike those old-school hackers, who had to write their own malicious code and run them to hack someone’s computer, all the new hackers need is an Android device. Yes, you’ve read it right. Now, there’s a new Android app that lets the wannabe hackers create Android ransomware, without requiring any knowledge of programming or hacking.

Spotted by Dinesh Venkatesan from Symantec, this app is specially crafted, which anyone can use to develop a fully functional Android ransomware. With the help of a DAME (Device-Aided Malware Engineering) tool model, the ransomware is created automatically.

To create an Android ransomware, all you need to do is download the ransomware creation app available on different hacking forums, as well as Chinese social networking messaging service. The app comes with an easy-to-use interface, letting you choose what customization you want by filling up the on-screen form.

The customization options you can get there are:

A key that is used to unlock the device
Message showed on the locked screen of the infected device
The icon that can be used by the malware
An animation to be shown on the infected device
Any custom mathematical operation that can randomize the code
After filling up all the information, you will have to hit the create button. While the app is free, you’ll be asked to subscribe the service, making a one-time payment. Once it’s done, you will be able to create as many ransomware versions as you want.

As Dinesh Venkatesan reports, this automation process used to create the malware mimics the typical Lockdroid behavior of locking the device’s screen. The whole operation is done on a smartphone, without requiring a single piece of code.

Well, if you’re not the hacker type, you still should know about it as you could be the next victim. Fortunately, TDKs all seem targeted at Chinese-speaking audience. However, the report says it would be a simple task to change the language of the interface, so things don’t seem to be safe for long.

Symantec also gave some advice to keep your device safe. You should only download apps from Google Play Store, not from any unfamiliar source. Keep your device up to date and back up your data from time to time. You’re also advised to install a security app in order to keep your device safe.