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2022 Campaign

Owning a smartphone is nowadays a very common thing. The number of applications and the way we use them in our daily lives has exploded (e.g. for social networking, messaging systems, streaming, photo sharing, etc.).

This development has not escaped the attention of cybercriminals who have designed new viruses specifically targeting mobile devices (as was the case recently with the Flubot virus, which has since been fortunately eradicated).

However, securing your smartphone is not a very complicated thing (see our practical advice below). Indeed, the main source of infection of devices remains the downloading of dubious applications (e.g. from untrusted app stores). So be particularly careful when you receive an e-mail or SMS inviting you to download an application.

Ever more connected, ever more mobile

The use of mobile devices is constantly increasing, as all studies show (over 93% of Belgian households have at least one mobile device).

This increasing use of mobile devices can create new societal problems for both younger people (who start using them earlier and earlier) and older people (who may be confused by the multiplication of platforms). For some, this may lead to a feeling of insecurity.

Mobile malware: a worrying and growing phenomenon

One recent case has mobilised all the efforts of the authorities: the spread of the Flubot virus in 2021. It occurred during containment (at a time when online shopping had grown considerably).

This virus targeting Android devices came in a variety of forms, but the most common was the sending of an SMS/MMS message notifying you of a supposedly delivered package. These messages contained links inviting you to download a malicious application (malware) from a fraudulent app store.

Once installed in your smartphone, this type of virus is designed to access all your personal data such as passwords, credit card details and your entire contact list. They can then use your number to send messages to all your contacts and other phone numbers.

Practical advice

- To avoid downloading mobile malware

Only install applications from official/recognised app stores

- To secure your smartphone in 5 steps

  1. Download applications only from trusted app stores.
  2. Learn to detect/suspect suspicious messages.
  3. Do not ignore the safety warnings.
  4. Give only limited access to applications.
  5. Make sure your smartphone and applications are always up to date.

For more advice, visit https://www.safeonweb.be/en/secure-mobile-devices 

- If you are a victim

  • Method 1: Restore your device to factory settings
  • Method 2: Restart your device in "safe mode" and remove the fake application (e.g. Bpost, DHL, etc.)

And don't forget to

  • Change all passwords for accounts you access from your smartphone.
  • Inform your contacts as soon as possible.
  • Contact your operator to avoid the extra cost of sending messages.

For more advice, visit https://www.safeonweb.be/en/news/beware-dangerous-flubot-virus