My phone is a Samsung Galaxy S2. I have somehow gotten some ransomware that is displaying device information, including my name and recent contacts' data.

The ransomware starts basically right away, so I cannot open anything else. I can only access the drop down menu, but opening anything from there isn't happening either. There is a new ongoing application marked as . and I can turn Wi-Fi etc., but I cannot open settings. If I hold the power button, the device just turns off, but I cannot start in safe mode. I have connected it to my PC with USB, but Windows 10 software is not letting me access the device.


From the drop down menu if I hold the home button, it opens menu showing which apps are allowing me to access some options. When I do this, I have settings as the only list right now, but when selected, the ransomware still displays over me.

I have Avast Mobile installed, but it doesn't help.

It looks like it might be the Koler ransomware UK version. However, it starts instantly and blocks everything. I did not give it permission to install, so I am not sure what's going on here, my device should be blocking everything but Google Play.

I just realised I can open the device options through long hold from the pin input menu. Listed is the power off, data network mode, flight mode and restart. I now realise I am supposed to press and hold the power off button, but this does not work either. I should be on Android 4.1 or 4.2 and it states that safe mode was introduced in 4.1. Please advise.

P.S.: I won't pay the ransom!

On my device holding the volume up and down buttons during boot launches safe mode, I have just now successfully launched safe mode and prevented the start of the ransomware. I will take a short break before proceeding to remove the application.

In addition to removing the application, what should I do ensure my security and prevent this situation in future? Help is appreciated.

  • 1
    I'm afraid that we are not malware technical support. – schroeder Nov 11 '15 at 21:46

There is some Android ransomware that is fairly easy to get rid of using Android Debug Bridge. These are older lock screen trojans. Here's a page that has a good breakdown of the types and how to get rid of them.

Some newer Android ransomware is very effective, but if you get one of these, you really have only 2 options - wipe the device or pay the ransom. If you have your pictures, contacts and other important data saved, then wipe your phone completely and restore to factory defaults, then re-install your apps and data. If not, then pay the ransom and get your device back, then back up your important data in the future. Be sure to wipe your device and restore to factory defaults in any case as the malware, or the application that allowed it to be installed, is is still persistent.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    ... and having paid the ransom and recovered the data, then wipe the phone to factory defaults because the ransomware is still installed on the phone and could do anything in future. – Simon B Nov 12 '15 at 11:49
  • This is a good point. In my mind that's an automatic, but not everyone would think that. I'll edit that in. – GdD Nov 12 '15 at 11:50

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.