The Internet that spreads mobile phone malware is closed

The Internet that spreads mobile phone malware is closed

The East Holland Police, in cooperation with ten countries and Europol, have shut down an online network spreading malware. According to the police, about ten thousand victims were disconnected as a result, and more than 6.5 million unwanted text messages were blocked per week.

It is related to the FluBot malware application. People install the app because they think they are going to a site via a link in a text message where they can track an ordered package, but in reality they install the rogue app there.

This software can send text messages without the user’s knowledge and can steal personal data and even view banking applications. The malware only worked on Android smartphones. Last year, malware spread rapidly, in part because FluBot was able to use the phone’s contact lists where the malware was installed.

No arrests

The cybercrime team of the East Holland Police developed the technology by which the system was turned off. During the operation, the unit cooperated with police and security forces from Australia, Belgium, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, Romania and the United States.

No one has been arrested. “The investigation was aimed at shutting down the network. We did not start looking for suspects. We first made sure that it depends on the citizen,” said Police Chief Michael de Ross of the East Holland Broadcasting Unit Gelderland. “While the procedure is still being monitored, we do not believe that the criminals will be able to resume their activities from tomorrow and infect another 10,000 phones.”

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The number of victims is unknown

With the technology now being developed, the police also want to focus on other networks. Therefore, she cannot know exactly how the process went. “This is a huge success and we are very proud of it.”

It is not clear how many people have fallen victim to FluBot. “Because lists of personal data are sold by criminals, citizens may not notice them immediately. However, it is possible that their personal data will be used over a longer period of time. Only when it is noticed will the statements follow,” de Rose.

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