The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has warned against a money-lending app “MoneyMonger” malware used by hackers to blackmail unsuspecting people.
Mrs Hadiza Umar, Head of Corporate Affairs and External Relations of the agency, gave the warning on Thursday in a statement issued in Abuja.
Umar said that the malware campaign was aimed at blackmailing users into accepting their demands or risking having their private information in the public domain.
“Developing countries like Nigeria are a prime target for dodgy loan apps and this has created an avenue for hackers to exploit.
“Although none of the 33 apps used in the deceptive scheme has been distributed through the Google Play Store, they have been distributed through unofficial app stores like Smishing, rogue ads, compromised websites and social media campaigns.
“The campaign has reportedly racked up over 100,000 downloads,” Umar said.
She added that once the malware was installed, it harvests and uploads a wide range of private information from the victim’s device onto its server.
According to her, the collected data include GPS location, text messages, contacts, call logs, files, photos and audio recordings, among others.
Umar said that the information would be used to blackmail the victim into paying high-interest rates.
She cautioned that individuals should install up-to-date anti-malware applications on their mobile devices.
“Always download applications from trusted sources, and read reviews before downloading any app.
“Beware of what information the app collects from your device and do not click on suspicious links,” Umar warned.
For more enquiries, she directed individuals to reach the Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team (CERRT) of the agency at email@example.com,www.cerrt.ng or +234 817 877 4580.
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