What you need to know about “Svpeng” Android Ransomware

June 2014 – The discovery of a new variant of the Svpeng Android malware is being widely reported in the media. Original versions of this well-known Trojan, identified a year ago in Russia, were used to steal payment card information from Russian mobile banking customers. This new version, now in the United States and other markets, also has “ransomware” capabilities, meaning it can lock down an Android phone until its owner pays a ransom to the hackers. To ensure you’re aware of this threat and know how to help protect your Android phone from becoming infected, please take a few moments to review the following information.

What to Know:

  • Infection is via a social engineering campaign using text messages.
  • Once a device is infected, it is nearly impossible to unlock the device.
  • The malware affects Android devices.
  • Once a phone is infected with this new variant, the malware will scan the phone for banking applications then lock the device.
  • A fake FBI imitation penalty notification will appear on the screen and the malware then requests a ransom of $200 to be paid through a Green Dot-MoneyPak account to unlock the device.
  • KeyBank’s mobile banking apps are not yet on the malware’s target list, which currently includes various other US-based financial institutions.

What to Do:

  • To help avoid infection, avoid clicking links in SMS (text) messages from unknown senders.
  • Do not download apps from unknown/unsafe sources.
  • Verify permission requests from downloaded apps before installing them.
  • Backup the device content regularly.
  • Avoid using the device over unsecured Wi-Fi networks.
  • Verify links sent to you by known senders before clicking them.
  • Install and use a mobile security tool to prevent and protect the device from infection.
  • Contact your financial institution to disable your mobile and/or online banking account if your smart phone becomes infected.

KeyBank’s Mobile Banking offers the same security and encryption as our Online Banking service. To help ensure that your Mobile Banking experience with us will be safe and secure, please visit our Safeguard Your Mobile Accounts page for helpful mobile banking security tips.