Earlier this month, reports began trickling out about some of the scariest Android malware the world has ever seen. Dubbed Simplocker, the malicious software holds an Android smartphone or tablet hostage by encrypting all of the device’s photo, videos and documents. If the owner wishes to decrypt his or her data, a ransom is demanded. But now, thanks to Avast, there is a free way to fight Simplocker and regain control of your data without having to pay hackers a dime.

Avast on Tuesday announced the availability of its new Avast Ransomware Removal app for Android. As the name suggests, the tool can be used to remove ransomware from an infected Android device.

“Simplocker blocks access to files stored on mobile devices. Without our free ransomware-removal tool, infected users have to pay $21 to regain access to their personal files,” said Avast COO Ondrej Vlcek. “Even though we are seeing exponential growth in ransomware on mobile devices, most of the threats to encrypt personal files are fakes. Simplocker is the first ransomware that actually encrypts these files, so we developed a free tool for people to restore them.”

Avast Ransomware Removal is completely free and is available now in the Google Play app store.

Download Avast Ransomware Removal

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.