Nigerian Communications Commission, on Friday, alerted Nigerians to the existence of an extremely damaging malware, ‘FluBot’, now attacking Androids and other related devices.
Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC Director of Public Affairs, Ikechukwu Adinde, raised the alarm in a statement in Abuja.
The statement read, “According to the information received today, October 21, 2021, from the Nigeria Computer Emergency Response Team (ngCERT), Flubot “targets Androids with fake security updates and App installations.
“The ngCERT affirmed that Flubot ‘impersonates Android mobile banking applications to draw fake web view on targeted applications’ and its goal transcends stealing personal data and essentially targets stealing of credit card details or online banking credentials.”
The NCC statement added that FluBot, which is circulated through SMS, could also snoop “on incoming notifications, initiate calls, read or write SMSes, and transmit the victim’s contact list to its control centre”.
The Commission also stated that the malware attacks Android devices while posing as “FedEx, DHL, Correos, and Chrome applications” and compels unsuspecting users to alter the accessibility configurations on their devices to maintain continuous presence on devices.
“The new malware undermines the security of devices by copying fake login screens of prominent banks, and the moment the users enter their login details on the fake pages, their data is harvested and transmitted to the malware operators’ control point from where the data is exploited by intercepting banking-related One Time Passwords (OTPs) and replacing the default SMS app on the targeted Android device.
“Consequently, it secures admittance into the device through SMS and proceeds to transmit similar messages to other contacts that may be on the device it has attacked enticing them into downloading the fake app.
“It suffices to say that, when Flubot infects a device, it can result in incalculable financial losses.
“Additionally, the malware creates a backdoor which grants access to the user’s device, thus enabling the invader or attacker to perform other criminal actions, including launching other variants of malware.”
NCC, however, issued an advisory to protect telecoms consumers from falling victims to the rampaging malware.
The guidelines are as follows:
. Do not click on the link if you receive a suspicious text message, and do not install any app or security update the page asks you to install.
.Use updated antivirus software that detects and prevents malware infections.
. Apply critical patches to the system and application.
. Use strong passwords and enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) over logins.
. Back up your data regularly.
. If you have been affected by this campaign, you should reset your device to factory mode as soon as possible. This will delete any data on your phone, including personal data.
. Do not restore from backups created after installing the app.
.You may contact ngCERT on email@example.com for technical assistance.
. You will also need to change the passwords to all of your online accounts, with urgency, around your online bank accounts.
. If you have concerns that your accounts may have been accessed by unauthorised people, contact your bank immediately.
Malware is a generic word used to describe a virus or software designed specially to “disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorised access to a computer system.”