Weeks after the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) alerted telecom consumers of the existence of high risk and extremely dangerous Android targeting malware called Flubot, ngCERT has once again warned that a new Android malware has been discovered.
Nigeria Computer Emergency Response Team (ngCERT) warns that the new malware called AbstractEmu can gain access to smartphones and take complete control by silently modifying device settings and at the same time taking steps to evade detection.
ngCERT is the national agency established by the federal government to manage the risk of Cybercrime threats in Nigeria. They also coordinate responses and mitigation strategies to proactively prevent cybercrime attacks against Nigerians.
According to ngCERT, the new malware, AbstractEmu, has been found to be distributed via the Google Play store, third-party stores like Amazon, Appstore, and Samsung Galaxy Store. It has also been found in smaller stores like; Aptoide, Apkpure, Anti-ads Browser, Data saver, Lite Luncher, My Phone among others.
A total of 19 Android applications posing as utility apps and system tools like password managers, money managers, app launchers and data saving apps have been reported to contain the rooting functionality of the malware.
The advisory agency gave the effect the malware could have on devices when installed to include; the malware taking over devices, installing additional malware, extracting sensitive data and transmitting the data to a remote attack-controlled server.
The malware can also modify the phone settings to give the app the ability to reset the device’s password and lock the device through the device admin. It can similarly access accessibility services, ignore battery optimization, monitor notifications, capture screenshots, record device screen, disable Google Play protection.
It can modify permission that grants access to contacts, call logs, Short Messaging Service (SMS), Geographic Positioning System (GPS), camera and the microphone of affected devices.
The ngCERT did make clear that Google Play Store has removed affected malicious apps from its store, other apps are still believed to be distributing the malware-infected apps.
On its part, as a way to sensitize the public, the NCC has reiterated the two-fold ngCERT advisory given in order to mitigate the risk of malware.
- Users should be wary of installing unknown or unusual apps and look out for different behaviors as they use their phones.
- Users should reset their phone to factory settings when there is suspicion of unusual behaviors in their phones.
It is important to keep to this advice as the report has affirmed that AbstractEmu is rooting malware, although very rare, it is very dangerous.
Orange CEO Convicted for Misuse of Funds, Puts Fate in Hands of Board
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of France’s largest telecommunication company Orange, Stephane Richard has been handed a one-year suspended sentence after an appeal court in Paris convicted him of complicity of the misuse of funds.
In a statement, Richard said that he would appeal the verdict of the court, saying that the one-year suspended sentence given to him was very unfair.
Stephane Richard, who was acquitted in an initial trial said that he had placed his company authority in the hands of Orange’s board of directors.
The French Minister of Finance, Bruno Le Maire has frequently said that the position of the government concerning matters like this is that the bosses of companies owned by the state must quit their positions if ever convicted of a crime. A statement made by the finance ministry acknowledged the verdict, saying that the ministry was paying close attention to the appropriate operation of the company.
Orange is due to hold a board meeting where the matter will undoubtedly be discussed, according to a company spokesman. Two different sources who are particularly close to the situation said that Richard – who has denied any offences – will find it difficult to keep his job as the Chairman and CEO of Orange.
Richard also had a 50,000 euro fine slapped on him, but was cleared of the charge of complicity of fraud. He however refused to make any comment when reporters asked whether he would resign as CEO after the verdict was given. He hurriedly left the court, followed by the head of communications at Orange, Béatrice Mandine.
Richard, who is a former civil servant, had previously told French media that he would not be looking to stay as CEO at the end of his third term (each one lasting four years) in May 2022. He however said that he would love to remain as the Chairman.
Oppo to Launch Foldable Phone Next Month
Following the success of Samsung’s foldable mobile phones (Samsung Galaxy Fold & Samsung Galaxy Flip), Chinese mobile communications company Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications Corp. Ltd. – popularly known as Oppo – will launch its own foldable phone next month.
According to a post on the Chinese Forum site Weibo, the foldable device which has been codenamed ‘Peacock’ is widely expected to launch in December. The Oppo ‘Peacock’ is rumoured to be powered by the Snapdragon 888 processor, the same processor used by phones like the Samsung Galaxy S21 series, the Samsung Galaxy Flip 3, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, and the Asus ROG 5 series.
Gizmo China reports that the Peacock will sport an inward folding design, similar to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Huawei Mate X2. Gizmo China reports that the smartphone will be accompanied by an 8-inch, 2K OLED display with a 120 hertz refresh rate. There is not a lot of information regarding the phone’s rear camera, but there is the expectation that the phone will possess a Sony IMX766 primary camera with 50 megapixels.
The report from Gizmo China goes ahead to state that the phone will come with a 4,500 mAh battery, 500 less than the Oppo A56 which is expected to hit markets this month. It will also come with 65W fast charging technology. Apart from the 50-megapixel rear camera, the Peacock will also be followed by a front camera of 32 megapixels. However, it is not yet sure how many rear cameras the Peacock will hold.
The announcement comes alongside the company’s announcement to launch a new flagship phone in 2022. The new flagship will be referred to as ‘Butterfly,’ set to release early next year. While the Peacock will be powered by the Snapdragon 888 processor, the Butterfly will be powered by the Snapdragon 898.
The official release date for the Peacock has not been released, but it is expected to launch sometime in December.
Airtel Africa Sells Minority Stake in Airtel Money for US$500 Million
Airtel Africa, a leading telecommunications and mobile money service provider in Africa, announced that it has received a combined $500 million as proceeds from the minority stake sales in Airtel Money from TPG’s The Rise Fund, Mastercard and Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).
The telecoms giant disclosed in a statement seen by Investors King.
The latest investment was in addition to the first closing announced by the Group on 18 March 2021, 1 April 2021 and 30 July 2021, respectively.
TPG and QIA, after meeting the conditions for second closing, invested an additional $50 million each while Mastercard added $25 million in the secondary purchase of shares in AMC BV from a subsidiary of Airtel Africa.
Airtel plans to use the proceeds from the secondary stake sale to reduce debt and expand its network and sales infrastructure in operating countries.
“With the conditions for second closing having now been met, TPG and QIA have each invested a further $50m, and Mastercard a further $25m, in the secondary purchase of shares in AMC BV from a subsidiary of Airtel Africa.
“Both QIA and TPG each appointed a director to the board of AMC BV upon the first closings. With these second closings, Airtel Africa will have received a total of $500m cumulative proceeds from the minority stake sales in Airtel Money from the three investors.
“As previously reported, the proceeds from these secondary stake sale transactions will be used to reduce Group debt and invest in network and sales infrastructure in the respective operating countries.”
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