It’s becoming more and more common for malicious applications on Android to use ransomware as a means of attack. It is one of the most worrying threats to mobile users as it renders the device unusable until the fee is paid and is sometimes difficult to eliminate completely. Google is aware of this issue and has finally decided to face it head on.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which is already available on selected terminals, makes it more difficult for cyber-criminals to hijack users’ phones. This is thanks to the company’s experts designing a more advanced operating system to manage the permissions asked by different applications.
Until now, users accepted all of the permission requests at once when they installed the apps. Due to this, seemingly inoffensive apps such as a simple flashlight were able to access features that were not related to its sole purpose. Not all of these apps were dangerous and for the most part companies were only trying to fine tune their advertising. However, by allowing access to other functions and domains on the mobile devices – users opened the door for malware to infect the device as well.
The majority of these malicious apps that use this form of attack, take advantage of the permission process to open an alert window (SYSTEM_ALERT_WINDOW) when the terminal is blocked. Some open an alert window which is impossible to close, while others open an error message which remains on the screen.
With Android 6.0 Marshmallow, users will need to give all apps permission to access any other functions on the mobile device, such as GPS or Camera. This will make it increasingly difficult for hackers to gain access to other content on mobile devices.
See the video below for best practices for the permissions setting on Android Marshmallow.