If you have been receiving some weird, dodgy messages telling you that you missed a call or voicemail recently, you are not alone. The messages are sent by malware called Flubot that sends via SMS and is capable of infecting insecure Android phones. The malware has started to emerge in Austria, it has been circulating in Europe for some time.
Flubot is malware similar to a computer virus that can be installed on an Adroid device if you click on a malicious link in a SMS message. The malware then sends similar text messages to other people from your phone automatically without your knowledge, potentially infecting them if the receiver of the message clicks on the same malicious link in the message. According to Telstra, they have identified a number of handsets recently which they believe are potentially infected.
The malware is dangerous as once installed, it can gain access to your contact list and spread itself. It is also capable of accessing your personal information and banking details if you used it while your phone was infected. If you suspect your phone to be infected, you should remove the malware immediately and change all your passwords on a different device that is not infected.
The way the Flubot works is by sending a text message with a link to your phone. The text message asks you to click the link to hear a voicemail. Once you click the link, you are taken to a web page displaying a trusted brand like Telstra and asked to install an app. If you give permission to install the app, the Flubot malware will be installed to your phone.
If you have received this message, DO NOT click the link and you will remain protected. However, if you have already done so, that means your phone may already be infected and you need to clean the malware immediately.
One way is to use an antivirus application to clean the malware. However, if for some reason, you find it difficult to remove it, you may have to do a factory reset on your phone which will remove the malware. Once you have erased Flubot, remember to NOT restore a backup from a point when the malware was already on your phone as that would restore the malware too, so make sure to pick a restore point that is dated earlier.