The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in an alert to Nigerian telecom consumers has raised an alarm over the existence of what it described as new, high-risk and extremely damaging Malware called Flubot.
This disclosure is contained in a press statement signed by NCC’s Director for Public Affairs, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, which stated that 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.
A malware is a generic word used to describe a virus or software, designed specially to “disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorized access to a computer system.” The Nigeria Computer Emergency Response Team (ngCERT) said that the Flubot targets Androids with fake security updates and App installations.
What NCC is saying in the statement
NCC in its statement explained that FluBot is circulated through Short Message Service (SMS) and can snoop on incoming notifications, initiate calls, read or write SMSes, and transmit the victim’s contact list to its control centre.
The statement said, ‘’This malware attacks Android devices by pretending to be “FedEx, DHL, Correos, and Chrome applications” and compels unsuspecting users to alter the accessibility configurations on their devices in order 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, reemphasized the advice of ngCERT on the protection of millions of telecom consumers from falling victims to such attacks.
The guidelines issued include;
- 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 protected] 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.
What you should know
A number of Federal Government ministries, agencies and departments including NCC have in recent times drawn the attention of the general public to the activities of some criminals and fraudsters who try to hack into their online media platforms.
The NCC had earlier in September urged all telecom consumers using any social media platform to be alert and wary of the wiles of fraudsters and other unscrupulous persons.
Due to increased internet usage and other electronic communications, the Commission warned telecom consumers and the general public of the possibility of an upsurge in cybercrimes, including but not limited to Vishing (Voice Phishing) and Smishing (SMS Phishing).