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FLocker Ransomware: The Attackers Are Using This Malware To Lock Smart TVs



From last few months, IoT things are the most popular topics among cyber security bloggers. The famous Mirai botnet had infected thousands of IoT things to perform DDoS Attacks against high profile websites. Now hackers have started infecting IoT devices with ransomware. A recent incident has been reported by “Darren Cauthon”. He is a software engineer by profession. On the Christmas day, his LG Smart TV was locked by hackers with a ransomware and the attacker were demanding $500 as ransom from him. According to the security researchers of various security firms, in upcoming months the threat for IoT will be increased. Hackers could target CCTV Cameras, Routers and all other IoT devices including smart TV.


How Did It Happen?

Darren Cauthon said that LG smart TV of one of his family member was locked by the attackers with a malware attack. It all happened when his wife installed an app on the TV. This app was claiming itself as a free movies app but in actual, it was a malware. When she installed that app, the TV gets locked and there was a notice on the screen for the owner. The attackers had used Frantic Locker ransomware to lock the TV, which is also famous as FLocker and Cyber.Police ransomware.


About FLocker Ransomware

It is an old ransomware, which was first detected in 2015 by the security researchers of Trend Micro. The cybercriminals are still spreading this malware through social engineering, SPAM, and malicious links. When the security experts detected this malware, there were around 7000 active strains of the Flocker ransomware. It has also been updated by the cyber criminals and now it is capable of bypassing all the security techniques.


The Whole Incident

The attackers left a fake FBI notice on the screen. The attackers were using the name of FBI to manipulate the victim for paying them demanded ransom. In the notice, they wrote that FBI has detected some malicious files of those adult websites which are banned. During repair of those files, your TV gets locked. They also wrote that the photos of the victim have been uploaded on the server of FBI and he has to pay $500 as a penalty for violating US law. The attackers also wrote that the victim has to pay the ransom in next 3 days. If he will not do this then the FBI will charge him three times of the current amount.


How Darren Cauthon Solve The Problem?

The smart TV manufacturer LG has moved to Linux based Operating system “WebOS” and the infected TV was still using “Google TV”. When Darren tried to reset the TV but didn’t get success. The reason behind it was, the available factory settings were not supporting “WebOS”.  Later, he contacted LG customer support and they made a bill of $340. It looks interesting. The attackers were demanding $500 and the company also made a bill of $340.


"Finally, the company provided hidden factory reset settings to Darren and he successfully fixed his TV. First of all, he powered off the TV, then he placed his one finger on settings symbol and another one on the channel down symbol. After some time, there was a list of options on the screen. By using volume key, he went to the wipe data/factory reset option and successfully protected his TV from attackers."


These factory settings are not publically available for the users. He also recorded a video of it to help the other victims. You can watch that video by clicking on this link:




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