Security firm Symantec has discovered a malicious application that is infecting Android devices and holding them hostage for ransom. The fake antivirus software, known as Android Defender Platinum, isn’t available on Google Play, however it has been making its rounds on third-party app stores and other locations across the Web. The app will scan a device and detect false malware, at which point it requires a user pays a free to clean his or her smartphone or tablet. If the user opts out of payment, the app will periodically remind them of the “infection” and crash the device. It will eventually claim that personal data is being leaked and will then lock the device from being used until a payment of $100 is made. Installing a real antivirus program, such as Symantec’s Norton, Lookout, AVG, Avast or Kaspersky, will help protect mobile devices from malware. More importantly, however, Android users should avoid pirating apps and installing unverified software from third-party app stores.

Dan joins the BGR team as the Android Editor, covering all things relating to Google’s premiere operating system. His work has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business and Yahoo News, among other publications. When he isn’t testing the latest devices or apps, he can be found enjoying the sights and sounds of New York City.