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GNCCB - Takedown of SMS-based FluBot Spyware Infecting Android Phones - 1/6/22

Issue Date: 01/06/2022

The Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau are part of an international law enforcement operation to take down the mobile phone malware known as FluBot.

FluBot is an Android malware that has been spreading aggressively through SMS. It steals passwords, online banking details and other sensitive information from infected smartphones across the world.

This follows a complex criminal investigation coordinated by Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre EC3 and involved law enforcement authorities in Australia, Belgium, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United States.

FluBot malware is disguised as an application, so it can be difficult to spot. There are two ways to tell whether an app may be malware:

• If you tap an app, and it doesn’t open
• If you try to uninstall an app, and are instead shown an error message
If you think an app may be malware, reset the phone to factory settings.

Detective Superintendent Pat Ryan, Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau said - This operation has successfully disrupted and rendered ineffective the infrastructure behind the malware. The Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau continue work collaboratively with international law enforcement agencies to target the criminal networks responsible for all forms of cybercrime. The investigation is ongoing to identify the individuals behind this global malware campaign.

An infographic is attached below.

Further information on how to protect your device from mobile malware available here