The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced the existence of a new, high-risk, and harmful malware known as ‘Flubot,’ which targets Android devices with fake security updates and application software installations.
Malware, according to the commission, is a generic term for a virus or software that is designed to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorized access to a device.
In a statement signed by Director, Public Affairs, Ikechukwu Adinde, the Commission indicated it was acting on information obtained from the Nigeria Computer Emergency Response Team.
The NCC said, “The ngCERT affirmed that Flubot impersonates Android mobile banking applications to draw fake web views on targeted applications and its goal transcends stealing personal data and essentially targets stealing of credit card details or online banking credentials.
“FluBot is circulated through Short Message Service and can snoop on incoming notifications, initiate calls, read or write SMSes, and transmit the victim’s contact list to its control centre.”
According to the NCC, this virus targets Android smartphones by impersonating ‘FedEx, DHL, Correos, and Chrome programme’s and forcing unsuspecting users to change their device’s accessibility settings in order to maintain a consistent presence on the device.
According to the report, the malware then compromises the device security by duplicating fake login screens of prominent banks and waits for users to enter their login credentials on the fake pages, after which their data is harvested and transmitted to the malware operators’ control point, where it is exploited by intercepting banking-related one-time passwords and replacing the default SMS app on the targeted Android device.
The NCC said, “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 has adviced that users should not click on any suspicious text message’s link or install any programm or security update page that ask them to install.
It said, “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 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.”