07 Oct 2022

ALERT: Warning about spyware hidden behind links in text messages

Politician says smartphones should be banned in all primary schools


A warning has been issued over malicious software affecting users of Android phones in Ireland, which can potentially allow criminals to steal passwords and sensitive data, such as financial information.

In a statement today, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said it had received reports of the spyware software called Flubot.

The scammers typically send a text message containing a link for the victim to click on to access details on a missed package delivery.

The link will direct to a fake website that will look similar to a legitimate delivery company's site.

The victim will then be asked to download two files, which contain malicious code. They will then be prompted to manually override and allow an untrusted app to download onto their phone.

The NCSC advised that the issue is currently only affecting Android phones and Apple devices are not affected.

People are advised not to click on the link if they receive such a message and to delete the message.

If you are expecting a delivery, you are advised to check its status through the company's official website.

If you have clicked on the link and have installed the app, you are advised to perform a factory reset on the device.

If you have your data backed up, it is advised not to restore any backups created after the malicious software was installed.

The NCSC advised to reset any passwords on accounts used after installing the app. If you use the same passwords on other accounts, you are advised to change those too.

Mobile operator Three also issued a warning over the FluBot software earlier today. It advised customers not to click the link and to delete the message from their phone.

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