In Android, apps aren’t supposed to be able to interfere with the normal behavior of other apps or the device itself. But ransomware is notorious for taking over other apps and encrypting data, and it can even block the uninstall command. It’s been a long-standing problem for Google’s Android mobile operating system.
“Ransomware does everything opposite of what the Android security model says apps should do,” says Android security team malware analyst Elena Kovakina. Google is tackling the ransomware problem on Android by beefing up app protections, deprecating certain APIs, and removing functionality, she says. Google has made antimalware improvements in the current Android Nougat, and more are slated for the forthcoming Android O.