The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has alerted the public about a new android malware capable of gaining access and taking control of infected smartphones. This was disclosed on Tuesday by NCC’s, Director, Public Affairs, Ikechukwu Adinde who stated that the malware known as AbstractEmu not only seized control of infected smartphones but was capable of silently modifying device settings while also evading detection.
The statement read, “This discovery was announced recently by the Nigerian Computer Emergency Response Team, the national agency established by the Federal Government to manage the risks of cyber threats in Nigeria, which also coordinates incident response and mitigation strategies to proactively prevent cyber-attacks against Nigeria.
“AbstractEmu is distributed via Google Play Store and third-party stores such as the Amazon Appstore and the Samsung Galaxy Store, as well as other lesser-known marketplaces like Aptoide and APKPure.
“The advisory stated that a total of 19 Android applications that posed as utility apps and system tools like password managers, money managers, app launchers, data saving apps have been reported to contain the rooting functionality of the malware.”
According to the commission, apps to be avoided by users include Night Light, All Passwords, Anti-ads Browser, Data Saver, Lite Launcher, My Phone, and Phone Plus, amongst other apps.
The commission further said, “Additionally, the malware can modify the phone settings to give app ability to reset the device password, or lock the device, through device admin; draw over other windows; install other packages; access accessibility services; ignore battery optimization; monitor notifications; capture screenshots; record device screen; disable Google Play Protect; as well as modify permissions that grant access to contacts, call logs, Short Messaging Service (SMS), Geographic Positioning System, camera, and microphone.”
NCC advised the general public to be cautious of installing unknown or unusual apps.
The commission also advised smartphone users to be observant of the settings on their phones and also, phones should be reset to factory settings, in the case of any suspicious behavior monitored.