#Beware of new virus targeting bank details, NCC warns

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The Nigerian Communications Commission has said there is a new, high-risk and damaging malware, called ‘Flubot’, targeting Android devices with fake security updates and application installations.

According to the commission, a malware is a generic word used to describe a virus or software, designed specially to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorised access to a device.

In a statement signed by the Director, Public Affairs, Ikechukwu Adinde, it said it was acting on information received 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 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.

It said the malware then undermines the security of devices by copying fake login screens of prominent banks, and waits for users to enter their login details on the fake pages, after which 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, 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.”

The NCC advised that users should not click on the link of any suspicious text message or install any app or security update the page asks 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.”

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