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New ransomware threat affects Android users in Oman

Ransom message screen appears to resemble the WannaCry ransomware screen

After the virus is downloaded on phones, it immediately encrypts phone data
After the virus is downloaded on phones, it immediately encrypts phone data

Android phone users in the Sultanate of Oman have been warned over threats from a new ransomware variant, WannaLocker, according to a report in Times of Oman.

Working in a similar manner as WannaCry , WannaLocker disguises itself as a plug-in to the famous strategy game Kings of Glory to trick users into downloading it. It is being circulated mainly on websites for gaming applications.

"The new ransomware is inspired by WannaCry, and it encrypts all photos and applications on your phone. Initial reports by the response team indicate that the source of the virus is China, and targets smart phones that run by the Android operating system," Oman's National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) warned.

After the virus is downloaded on phones, it immediately encrypts phone data and then displays a message imitating one used by the notorious WannaCry malware.

"The hackers then demand 40 yuan, which is equivalent to US$6, in order for data to be restored and the virus to be deleted. It is important to point out that the virus targets files that are stored on the external memory of the affected device," CERT explained.

The ransomware was first reported by Chinese security company, Qihoo 360.