NITDA Raises Alarm Over Fraudulent Online Money-lending App
By Our Correspondent
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has alerted the Nigerian public about a money-lending app that hackers have capitalised on to defraud unsuspecting members of the public.
This warning was contained in a statement issued yesterday by the spokesperson of the agency Hadiza Umar, even as it advised on the preventive measures
It said “hackers are taking advantage of money-lending apps to carry out a malware campaign called” MoneyMonger” aimed at blackmailing users into meeting up with certain demands else they risk having their private information revealed to the public. Developing countries like Nigeria are a prime target for dodgy loan apps and this has created an avenue for hackers to exploit.
“Although none of the 33 apps used in the deceptive scheme have been distributed through Google play store, they have been distributed through unofficial app store smishing (SMS Phishing), rogue add, compromised websites and social media campaign. The campaign has reportedly racked over 100,000 downloads.”
The statement said further that once the malware is installed, it harvests and uploads a wide range of private information from the victim’s device onto the server.
The collected data according to NITDA include locations, text messages, contacts, call logs, files, photos, audio recordings among others.This information is then used to blackmail the victim into paying excessively high- interest rates.
The NITDA spokesperson therefore advised members of the public to take the following preventive measures, which include to install up-to-date anti-malware applications on mobile devices.
It also admonished the public to always install applications from trusted sources and read reviews before downloading any App.