Joker Trojan: NCC’s Alert Over Fraudulent Payments Via New App in Nigeria

Joker Trojan: NCC’s Alert Over Fraudulent Payments Via New App in Nigeria

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has alerted Nigerians to the resurgence of Joker Trojan-Infected Android Apps currently found on Google Play Store that authorizes payments for fraudsters.

The NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde made this known in a statement released to newsmen on Sunday, 15th May 2022.

The commission disclosed that the App could click on online ads automatically and even use Short Messaging Service (SMS) One-Time Password to secretly approve payments without checking bank statements.

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NCC further stated that other actions, such as stealing text messages, contacts, and other device data, were also possible with the App.

Hence, it urged Android users to avoid downloading unnecessary apps or installing apps from unofficial sources.

The statement read in parts, “Additionally, in a related advisory, the NCC, based on another detection by CSIRT, wishes to inform the general public about the resurgence of Joker Trojan-Infected Android Apps on Google Play Store.

“This arose due to the activities of criminals who intentionally download legitimate apps from the Play Store, modify them by embedding the Trojan malware and then uploading the app back to the Play Store with a new name.

“The malicious payload is only activated once the apps go live on the Play Store, which enables the apps to scale through Google’s strict evaluation process. Once installed, these apps request permissions that once granted, enable them to have access to critical functions such as text messages and notifications.

“As a consequence, a compromised device will subscribe unwitting users to premium services, billing them for services that do not exist. A device like this can also be used to commit Short Messaging Service fraud while the owner is unaware.

“It can click on online ads automatically and even use SMS One-Time Password to secretly approve payments. Without checking bank statements, the user will be unaware that he or she has subscribed to an online service. Other actions, such as stealing text messages, contacts, and other device data, are also possible.”

To avoid falling victim to the manipulation of hackers deploying Joker Trojan-Infected Android Apps, Android users have been advised to avoid downloading unnecessary apps or installing apps from unofficial sources.

“The NCC also wishes to advise telecom consumers to ensure that apps installed from the Google Play Store are heavily scrutinized by reading reviews, assessing the developers, perusing the terms of use and only granting the necessary permissions.

“Conclusively, the NCC recommends that unauthorized transactions be checked against any installed App. Indeed, any apps not in use should be deleted while users are also advised to ensure that a device is always patched and updated to the latest software.” it added.

As technology or digitization advances by the day, the teeming users are equally advised to get informed of new developments that follow suit, to avert falling victim unwittingly.

It’s not anymore news that Android users easily and swiftly download any app they found enticing, without taking time to study the nitty-gritty of its overall functions and what have you. The observed occurrence is that people make use of anything they encounter, not just apps, without minding their actual services or implications. Most times, they quickly indulge in any act or practice, because a friend or relative is into it.

Tech devices are indisputably very sensitive and delicate, hence ought to be treated as such. We should learn to seek advice from experts whenever we got lost or confused while operating our respective electronic gadgets.

It is true and obvious that the digital age has made various activities of mankind very easy, but we are warned not to be carried away by its frivolities.

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