The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has alerted Nigerians of a new virus, FluBot that steals banking details from mobile phones.
The virus which is a form of malware undermines the security of devices by copying fake login screens of prominent banks.
A statement by NCC also said the FuBot malware “targets Androids with fake security updates and App installations.”
What you should know about Malwares:
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.”
How FluBot Malware attacks your phones and steals your banking details:
NCC said it received detailed information on how the FluBot malware attacks people’s phones and steals their banking details.
It received the information from the Nigeria Computer Emergency Response Team (ngCERT).
According to the information, FluBot “impersonates Android mobile banking applications to draw fake web view on targeted applications.”
Also, the malware does not only steal personal data but essentially targets stealing of credit card details or online banking credentials.
In addition, the report said FluBot circulates to peoples’ phones through Short Message Service (SMS).
What the FluBot virus does after gaining entry to your phone:
NCC’s report said the virus can snoop “on incoming notifications, initiate calls, read or write SMSes, and transmit the victim’s contact list to its control centre.”
It added that the malware attacks Android devices by pretending to be “FedEx, DHL, Correos, and Chrome applications.”
The virus compels unsuspecting users to alter the accessibility configurations on their devices in order to maintain continuous presence on devices.
Also, NCC said the new virus undermines the security of devices by copying fake login screens of prominent banks.
What this means is that the vurus presents the user with a fake login details.
Thereafter, as soon as the users enter his or her login details on the fake pages, it steals their data.
After stealing their data, it transmits same to the malware operators’ control point from where hackers exploit the data by intercepting banking-related One Time Passwords (OTPs).
After intercepting your bank account’s OTP, it replaces the default SMS bank app on the targeted Android device.
Consequently, the virus gains 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.
Damages that the virus can cause you:
NCC report says the FluBot virus can cause you many damages especially financial theft.
First, it infects your phone as a virus.
Second, the FluBot can result in incalculable financial losses.
Also, the virus creates a backdoor which grants access to your phone.
With this backdoor access, the hacker attacking your phone through FluBot can take over your phone remotely and perform other criminal actions like defrauding people.
This will put you in danger and you could go to jail over a crime you did not commit.
Also, the attacker can, with the backdoor access, launch other variants of malware on your phone.
How to protect yourself from the virus:
NCC recommends the advisory of ngCERT to all Nigerian telecommunication users which include the following:
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 application.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for technical assistance.
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.
NCC said it would continue to inform Nigerian telecom users of ways to safely use telecom networks.
In a statement, it said, “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.”
The Flubot malware is a high-risk virus that can wipe the money in your bank accounts clean.
Also, if you fall victim to the FluBot attack, you could be in other troubles as the hackers may use your line to commit other criminal activities.
You risk jail terms too.
Also, you could become poor by falling victim to the virus.
Meanwhile, following the advisory by NCC can save you from the FluBot attack and consequences.