Flubot malware spreading via text messages in Nordic countries may reach Estonia

  • 2021-12-13
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - A type of malware called Flubot is actively spreading in several Nordic countries via text messages, the malware is designed to take control of smart phones and automatically send out texts from infected devices to other contacts.

Aigar Kais, head of security at Telia Eesti, the Estonian member of the telecommunications company Telia, said that the Flubot scam is spread via text messages and contains various links guiding the user to install a certain app.

When the app is launched, the smartphone is infected with malware. After Flubot gains control of the contents of the phone, it will begin sending similar texts to contacts saved on the infected phone.

"In December, people should be particularly cautious with regard to various scam and phishing schemes because criminals want to take advantage of the run-up to Christmas when people may be more distracted than usually. What makes Flubot particularly insidious is that the infected text message seemingly arrives from an acquaintance, friend or colleague. Thus, no suspicious or unexpected links in SMS messages should be opened," Kais said.

Texts spreading Flubot are about services or notices designed to lure the owner of the phone into following suspicious links. For example, in Finland, Flubot has been sneaked into people's phones disguised as a DHL courier service notification.

If a phone user suspects that they have received a text message containing a link to downloading Flubot, Telia Eesti's head of security recommends to delete the text immediately and inform the person whose phone the text was sent from.

Kais added that in order to install apps, official app stores, such as Google Play and App Store, must always be used and apps must not be downloaded from unknown platforms.

Devices that have been infected with Flubot should be factory reset as soon as possible.