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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

IMPORTANT: Information from DuoCall about MMS Mobile Malware

Date: Friday 13 May 2022

What's happening?

O2 have advised that they have seen a significant rise in FluBot victims on the mobile network. This was originally identified by Vodafone on Wednesday 27th April 2022, and they are now seeing an increase in incidents.

FluBot is a text message or MMS scam – part of a large-scale smishing attack using a malware that seeks to exploit the familiarity with text updates.

FluBot is currently affecting android devices. It’s downloaded under the guise of messages about missed calls, voicemails and delivery tracking services. Usually, the message contains a link to retrieve a voicemail or tracking information. The malware is installed when the user clicks on the embedded or attached link.

Most networks use a Spam Shield application to verify legitimate MPNs and block scams. It seems as though most cyber attackers have started using both MMS and SMS to avert this application. Whilst most UK SMS will be free, MMS attracts a charge per message which helps to bypass the carious controls in place to prevent spamming and smishing.

If you inadvertently click the link, it installs the app with the malware inside, infiltrating your device. This can allow more infected MMS to be sent to contacts within your device, without your knowledge. Your banking and contacts apps can be accessed too.

What are O2 doing to help?

If O2 identify a customer number that has had malware downloaded onto their device, they will inform us (via email) and will remove the MMS service from the MPN at an ABS level.

DuoCall will provide you with all relevant communications should any of your base be affected.

What do DuoCall recommend?

Acting quickly is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your staff.

  • Inform and educate yourself and your staff about malware in general, and specifically FluBot.
  • If you and your staff don’t need MMS facilities, you should consider removing this facility.
  • Talk to DuoCall about setting up alerts or changing your CDR procedures to accommodate improved or more regular SMS and MMS monitoring.

Please take care and don’t trust any SMS or MMS messages that you’re unsure about.