ALERT: New Android malware 'Flubot' stealing credit card details

FIJ

A new malware, Flubot, considered to be high-risk and damaging, threatens users of Android-enabled devices.

The malware is capable of obtaining financial login data from a device and also obtaining contact information to target other users.

With a modus operandi to initially send harmless-looking text messages, appearing as if they are popular brands to Android users and instructing them to click on a link for further instructions, the Flubot masks itself well.

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On Friday, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) warned Nigerians to be vigilant lest they incur “incalculable financial losses.”

Ikechukwu Adinde, Director of Public Affairs (DPA), NCC, was quoted in a report to have said, “The ngCERT (Nigeria Computer Emergency Response Team) affirmed that Flubot impersonates Android mobile banking applications to draw fake web view on targeted applications and its goal transcends stealing personal data. It 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.

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“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.”

He advised that Nigerians take precautions to avoid falling victim to the attack.

“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,” he said. “Use updated antivirus software that detects and prevents malware infections.

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“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 incident@cert.gov.ng 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.”

Flubot reportedly surfaced in Spain in December 2020, and has since attacked various European countries and the USA.

For now, downloading applications from the Google Playstore appears to be the best way to avoid the malware, and running a factory reset erases it from an affected device…

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