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NCC Warns Nigerians About New Smartphone Attacking Virus

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AbstractEmu

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has alerted telecom consumers and the general public that a new Android malware named ‘AbstractEmu’, had been discovered.

NCC said the malware can gain access to smartphones, take complete control of infected smartphones and silently modify device settings while simultaneously taking steps to evade detection.

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This discovery was announced recently by the Nigerian Computer Emergency Response Team (ngCERT), 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 has been found to be 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 report said.

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, and data saving apps have been reported to contain the rooting functionality of the malware.

The apps are said to have been prominently distributed via 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 apps include All Passwords, Anti-ads Browser, Data Saver, Lite Launcher, My Phone, Night Light and Phone Plus, among others.

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According to the report, rooting malware although rare, is very dangerous. By using the rooting process to gain privileged access to the Android operating system, the threat actor can silently grant itself dangerous permissions or install additional malware – steps that would normally require user interaction. Elevated privileges also give the malware access to other apps’ sensitive data, something not possible under normal circumstances.

The ngCERT advisory also captured the consequences of making their devices susceptible to AbstractEmu attacks. Once installed, the attack chain is designed to leverage one of five exploits for older Android security flaws that would allow it to gain root permissions. It also takes over the device, installs additional malware, extracts sensitive data, and transmits to a remote attack-controlled server.

Additionally, the malware can modify the phone settings to give the 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 optimisation; 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 (GPS), camera, and microphone.

The ngCERT also asserts in the advisory that, while the malicious apps were removed from Google Play Store, the other app stores are likely distributing them. Consequently, the NCC wishes to reiterate a two-fold ngCERT advisory in order to mitigate the risks. The two-fold advisory include:

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  1. Users should be wary of installing unknown or unusual apps, and look out for different behaviours as they use their phones.

2. Reset your phone to factory settings when there is suspicion of unusual behaviours in your phone.

The NCC, in the exercise of its mandate and obligation to the consumers, said it “will continue to sensitise and educate telecoms consumers on any cyber threat capable of inflicting low or high-impact harms on their devices, whether discovered through the ngCERT or the telecom sector’s Centre for Computer Security Incident Response managed by the Commission.”

Business Post had earlier reported that the commission had warned telecom consumers of the existence of new, high-risk and extremely damaging, Android device-targeting Malware called Flubot and outlined steps to prevent the eir devices from being attacked by the virus.

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Market closes Flat, capitalization appreciates by N6.06 billion

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1643128517 1643128516 802 Stock market

The NGX closed on a flat note amidst sell-offs and buy-interests as the benchmark All-Share Index (ASI) appreciated by 2 basis points.

The NGX ASI closed at 45,939.51 points, to reflect a growth of 0.02% from the previous trading day and a Year-to-Date (YTD) return of 7.55%. Meanwhile, the market capitalization increased by N6.06 billion.

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At the close of market on Tuesday 25th January 2022, the stock exchange market value currently stands at N24.766 trillion from N24.749 trillion in the previous trading day.

The market breadth closed positive as COURTVILLE led 20 gainers, and 15 Losers topped by CILEASING at the end of today’s session.

The stock market has advanced 3,223.07 base points since the start of the year.

NGX ASI Top gainers

  • COURTVILLE up +10.00% to close at N0.55
  • ETI up +9.94% to close at N9.95
  • ACADEMY up +9.72% to close at N0.79
  • CHAMPION up +8.05% to close at N2.55
  • REGALINS up +5.26% to close at N0.40

NGX ASI Top losers

  • CILEASING down – 10.00% to close at N3.78
  • PRESTIGE down – 9.80% to close at N0.46
  • CORNERST down – 3.77% to close at N0.51
  • MBENEFIT down – 3.70% to close at N0.26
  • UPDC down – 3.45% to close at N1.12

NGX ASI Top Traded by Volume

  • GTCO – 24,519,109 units
  • COURTVILLE – 21,425,555 units
  • TRANSCORP – 20,439,908 units
  • ZENITH – 17,318,113 units
  • CHAMS – 16,555,538 units

NGX ASI Top Traded by Value

  • SEPLAT – N963,417,647.00
  • GTCO – N625,346,343.70
  • ZENITHBANK – N440,520,098.70
  • MTNN – N439,675,780.70
  • NB – N293,012,436.25

Market sentiments trend towards the bulls with the market differential being in favour of the advancers as 20 gainers surpassed 15 losers.

... Market closes Flat, capitalization appreciates by N6.06 billion Read More on ... Nairametrics.

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Source: NairaMetrics

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Fuel Subsidy: Removal dependent on Refineries, Palliatives, Auto-gas implementation policies- Sylva

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1643128504 Timipre Sylva

Recall Nairametrics reported last year on November 24th, the Nigerian Government announced it was offering N5,000 monthly each for about 40 million Nigerians. The amount represents a palliative meant to help recipients alleviate the pain that a full subsidy removal could bring.

The cash for subsidy program is likely to cost the federal government about N2.4 trillion annually if it were to implement it next year as planned. Expectedly, the Nigerian Labour Conference has rejected the offer terming it “Penny wise pound foolish”- a saying for bad financial judgement.

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Source: NairaMetrics

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