Gardaí issue warning about Flubot smartphone malware virus
FluBot is spread aggressively through text messages. It has been stealing passwords, online banking details and other sensitive information from infected smartphones around the world
Gardaí in collaboration with polices forces abroad have successfully disrupted a smartphone virus used to facilitate cybercrime.
The Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau (GNCCB) is 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 text messages. It has been stealing passwords, online banking details and other sensitive information from infected smartphones around the world.
The successful operation 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 US.
GNCCB Detective Superintendent Pat Ryan 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.”
FluBot malware is disguised as an application, so it can be difficult to spot.
Gardaí said malware apps do not open when a smartphone user taps on them and when someone tries to uninstall them, an error message appears instead.
Smartphone users have been advised to reset their phone’s factory settings if they think a malware app has been downloaded on their device.