The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has alerted telecom consumers and the general public that a new Android malware that can be used to attack Android devices has been discovered.
According to a statement issued yesterday by the NCC director of public affairs, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, the malware, named ‘AbstractEmu’, can gain access to smartphones, take complete control of infected smartphones and silently modify device settings while simultaneously taking steps to evade detection.
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 the 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 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,” the statement said.
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.