Software That Steals Users’ Banking Credentials From Phones Detected, FG Alerts Nigerians

The Nigerian Communications Commission’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) has discovered a newly-hatched malicious software that steals users’ banking app login credentials on Android devices.

According to a security advisory from the Commission’s CSIRT, the software identified as Xenomorph targeted 56 financial institutions from Europe. It is said to have a high impact and vulnerability rate.

In a statement, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, the Commission’s Director, Public Affairs, explained that Xenomorph is propagated by an application that was slipped into Google Play store and masquerading as a legitimate application called ‘Fast Cleaner’.

He said it is ostensibly meant to clear junk, increase device speed and optimize battery.

In reality, the app, according to the statement, is only a means by which the Xenomorph Trojan could be propagated easily and efficiently.

He emphasised that the main intent of the malware is to steal credentials, combined with the use of SMS and Notification interception to log-in and use potential two-factor authentication tokens.

Once up and running on a victim’s device, Xenomorph according to the team, can harvest device information and Short Messaging Service (SMS), intercept notifications and new SMS messages, perform overlay attacks, and prevent users from uninstalling it. The threat also asks for Accessibility Services privileges, which allow it to grant itself further permissions.

“To avoid early detection or being denied access to the PlayStore, ‘Fast Cleaner’ was disseminated before the malware was placed on the remote server, making it hard for Google to determine that such an app is being used for malicious actions.”

The team further noted that the malware also steals victims’ banking credentials by overlaying fake login pages on top of legitimate ones.

“Considering that it can also intercept messages and notifications, it allows its operators to bypass SMS-based two-factor authentication and log into the victims’ accounts without alerting them.

“Xenomorph has been found to target 56 internet banking apps, 28 from Spain, 12 from Italy, nine from Belgium, and seven from Portugal, as well as Cryptocurrency wallets and general-purpose applications like emailing services. The Fast Cleaner app has now been removed from the Play Store but not before it garnered 50,000+ downloads,” the CSIRT security advisory said.

NCC therefore advised telecom consumers to be on alert in order not to fall victim to this manipulation. It also urged telecom consumers and other Internet users, particularly those using Android-powered devices to use trusted Antivirus solutions and update them regularly to their latest definitions.

Also, the Commission implored consumers and other stakeholders to always update banking applications to their most recent versions.

-DailyTrust

About Don Saint

PR Guru / Author / Promoter / Controversial Writer / Hip Hop Artiste / Actor / Human Rights Activist. The First Nigerian Hip Hop Artiste to obtain a Masters Degree (M.A) in Arts ( Religion & Human Relations). The author of one of the most controversial books in Nigeria; "Emancipation from Masturbation". With over 12 Movies and 3 Musical albums since 2003. Former Events Manager at Silverbird’s Rhythm Fm Awka Station till 2010. For more info. Call : 08033239298.

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: