How to Clean and Protect Your Android Device Against Ransomware


Scanning for ransomeware to removeThe plague of ransomware has spread to Android devices. There are numerous recent reports of malware infections on Android platforms that lock or encrypt personal files and demand payment before you can regain access to the files. Here is some help with this growing problem.

For systems that may already be infected, try a new free app that has just been released by Avast. It scans the system, removes any ransomware it finds, and decrypts affected files. It is called “avast! Ransomware Removal”. The description and download is at this Google Play Store link. The vendor has a description at this page. There is also a short video demonstrating what actually happens when ransomware infects your Android smartphone.

If an infection prevents you from accessing the Google Play Store from your mobile device, Avast says that you can install the app remotely. You use a computer to go to the Google Play Store and use the same Google Play login that you use on your mobile device.When you click install, the app will be automatically installed on the mobile device (not on the computer), followed by an announcement in the notification bar.

This new app is for one-time use in cleaning already infected systems. For prevention and more permanent protection against a wider variety of malware, Avast has a second free app called “Mobile Security & Antivirus” available at this Google Play Store link. According to the vendor’s description, the app secures against unwanted phishing, malware, spyware, and malicious viruses such as Trojans. It is free but it does contains in-app purchase options. This and other Android security apps have been reviewed previously on this page.

Get your own favorite tip published! Know a neat tech tip or trick? Then why not have it published here and receive full credit? Click here to tell us your tip.

This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.

Click here for more items like this. Better still, get Tech Tips delivered via your RSS feeder or alternatively, have the RSS feed sent as email direct to your in-box.

Please rate this article: 

Your rating: None
Average: 3.4 (14 votes)


also looked at avast website.i see what you mean about the app and the updates.thanks guys for your help

I'm thinking that the reason they do not want it permanently installed is that something like this would need almost constant OTA updates to be effective?

I went to the link to see what was up, as suggested. There is a short Video there describing how to install the ransomware through a third party porn site (Don't go there, it may be real). It only shows how to infect your phone. It does not show avast! Ransomware Removal, removing it.

(probably because they haven't yet figured out how to go to the Google play store while the phone is not working. If they had the app on the phone before the infection, it seems it would not work. Simplocker, once installed, will lock your phone, making it unusable for you. Unfortunate choice of words or Catch 22? (Thank you, Mr. Heller).

This type of malware does not show itself, sometimes, until a credit card or a banking transaction takes place. Because of this, I suggest running the
avast! Ransomware Removal tool and then uninstall it. What have you got to lose, besides a nasty encounter with the most vile malware to date? Scans your Apps and files, then it pitches Avast! (a small price to pay, and if you are not protected, why not give it a go?)

Avast has been around a ling time, and has allowed millions of users to surf more securely, who could not have afforded protection otherwise.
I have used Avast! in the past, and, though it worked well, it was resource-hungry back then. It may not be, today. I applaud their development of this anti Cryptolocker-type software to be offered as freeware. I wish more of the security community, including Governments, would put more resources toward it's development.

I have added to the article to clarify what to do when the mobile device can't be used to access Google Play.

Once you've installed this app and run asks you to uninstall.why?if your android is infected and encrypted how will you be able to access this app

As the article says, this is for one-time use to clean an infected system. If it finds ransomware, it removes it and decrypts any encrypted files. If it finds nothing wrong, then it gives a message to uninstall it. As the article says it isn't for preventing infection but for removing an infection and there is another app for prevention. Why you can't just leave it installed, I don't know.

How do you access the play store if your phone is encrypted

I have seen a clarification of what Avast was referring to as remote log in and will add it to the article.
Depending on the nature of the infection, you may or may not be able to access the play store. For more information, try going to this Avast site where you can leave comments: