NCC Alerts Telecom Consumers on Flubot Malware | #android | #security | #education | #technology | #infosec


October 24, 2021 / 12:48 PM / by NGX / Header Image
Credit: APKRig


…Lists measures to guard against


The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) wishes to
alert millions of Nigerian telecom consumers of the existence of new, high-risk
and extremely-damaging, Malware called Flubot.


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”.


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.


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”.


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


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.


In view of this discovery and understanding of the
process by which this malware operates, and in order to protect millions of
telecom consumers and prevent criminal forces, irrespective of location, from
using telecom platforms to perpetrate fraud and irredeemable damages, the NCC
hereby wishes to reiterate the advisory of ngCERT as follows:

  1. 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.
  2. Use updated antivirus software that detects and
    prevents malware infections.
  3. Apply critical patches to the system and
  4. Use strong passwords and enable Two-Factor
    Authentication (2FA) over logins.
  5. Back-up your data regularly.
  6. 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.
  7. Do not restore from backups created after
    installing the app. You may contact ngCERT on for technical
  8. You will also need to change the passwords to all
    of your online accounts, with urgency, around your online bank accounts.
  9. If you have concerns that your accounts may have
    been accessed by unauthorised people, contact your bank immediately.


As the Commission intensifies efforts in ensuring
increased broadband access, enabling telecoms consumers to carry out their
legitimate activities more efficiently and effectively online, it also restates
its commitment to empowering consumers through useful information and education
to protect them from falling victims of all kinds of cyber-attack while online.
This explains the rationale for the launch of telecom sector’s Centre for
Computer Security Incident Response by NCC on 30th September, 2021.

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