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NCC alerts android users of new virus that steals online banking credentials

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Nasiru Yusuf 

The Nigerian Communications Commission has alerted Nigerians of a new malware, Flubot, that “targets Androids with fake security updates and App installations.”

KANO FOCUS reports that this is contained in a statement issued by the director public affairs Ikechukwu Adinde.

The NCC said its findings show that Flubot “impersonates Android mobile banking applications to draw fake web view on targeted applications” and its goal transcends stealing personal data and essentially targets stealing of credit card details or online banking credentials.

A malware is a generic word used to describe a virus or software, designed specially to “disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorized access to a computer system.”

According to the information received today, October 21, 2021, from the Nigeria Computer Emergency Response Team (ngCERT), Flubot “targets Androids with fake security updates and App installations”.

The ngCERT affirmed that Flubot “impersonates Android mobile banking applications to draw fake web view on targeted applications” and its goal transcends stealing personal data and essentially targets stealing of credit card details or online banking credentials.

FluBot is circulated through Short Message Service (SMS) and can snoop “on incoming notifications, initiate calls, read or write SMSes, and transmit the victim’s contact list to its control centre.”

This malware attacks Android devices by pretending to be “FedEx, DHL, Correos, and Chrome applications” and compels unsuspecting users to alter the accessibility configurations on their devices in order to maintain continuous presence on devices.

The new malware undermines the security of devices by copying fake login screens of prominent banks, and the moment the users enter their login details on the fake pages, their data is harvested and transmitted to the malware operators’ control point from where the data is exploited by intercepting banking-related One Time Passwords (OTPs) and replacing the default SMS app on the targeted Android device.

Consequently, it secures admittance into the device through SMS and proceeds to transmit similar messages to other contacts that may be on the device it has attacked enticing them into downloading the fake app.

It suffices to say that, when Flubot infects a device, it can result in incalculable financial losses. Additionally, the malware creates a backdoor which grants access to the user’s device, thus enabling the invader or attacker to perform other criminal actions, including launching other variants of malware.

In view of this discovery and understanding of the process by which this malware operates, and in order to protect millions of telecom consumers and prevent criminal forces, irrespective of location, from using telecom platforms to perpetrate fraud and irredeemable damages, the NCC hereby wishes to reiterate the advisory of ngCERT as follows:

1. Do not click on the link if you receive a suspicious text message, and do not install any app or security update the page asks you to install.

2. Use updated antivirus software that detects and prevents malware infections.

3. Apply critical patches to the system and application.

4. Use strong passwords and enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) over logins.

5. Back-up your data regularly.

6. If you have been affected by this campaign, you should reset your device to factory mode as soon as possible. This will delete any data on your phone, including personal data.

7. Do not restore from backups created after installing the app. You may contact ngCERT on incident@cert.gov.ng for technical assistance.

8. You will also need to change the passwords to all of your online accounts, with urgency, around your online bank accounts.

9. If you have concerns that your accounts may have been accessed by unauthorised people, contact your bank immediately.

As the Commission intensifies efforts in ensuring increased broadband access, enabling telecoms consumers to carry out their legitimate activities more efficiently and effectively online, it also restates its commitment to empowering consumers through useful information and education to protect them from falling victims of all kinds of cyber-attack while online. This explains the rationale for the launch of telecom sector’s Centre for Computer Security Incident Response by NCC on 30th September, 2021.

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Court declares banishment of Emir Sanusi ll illegal, orders Kano state to apologise, pay him N10m

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Aminu Abdullahi

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, ordered Kano state government to tender an apology to the dethroned Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi ll, in two national dailies.

KANO FOCUS reports that the court, in a judgement that was delivered by Justice Anwuli Chikere, held that Sanusi’s forceful banishment from Kano after his dethronement, was illegal, unconstitutional and in gross violation of his fundamental human rights.

Consequently, it awarded damages against Kano state, in favour of the deposed Emir, to the tune of N10million.

It will be recalled that Sanusi was deposed as Emir by the Kaduna State government on March 9, 2020, after he was accused of disloyalty and insubordination.

Though the deposed Emir was initially banished to Loko village in Nasarawa State after his dethronement, later, he was forcefully moved to Awe town, where he was confined until March 13, 2020, when the court ordered that he should be granted his freedom.

Sanusi, who had since accepted his fate as the will of God, however approached the court to query the legality of his confinement in Nasarawa state.

In the suit he predicated on section 34, 35, 40, 41 and 46 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, the former Emir, among other things, prayed the court to restore his rights to human dignity, personal liberty, freedom of association and movement in Nigeria, (apart from Kano State).

Cited as Respondents in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/357/2020, were the Inspector General of Police, the Director General of the State Security Service, Attorney General of Kano State and the Attorney General of the Federation.

While adopting his final brief of argument, Sanusi’s lawyer, Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, told the court that his client was not before it to challenge his dethronement.

Mahmoud said his client was in court over the gross violation of his fundamental rights in relation to the harsh way he was treated after he was deposed by the Kano state government.

He said: “My lord, this is not a chieftaincy matter. The Applicant is not before this court to challenge the Respondents’ actions with regards to his removal as Emir of Kano, but the way he was bundled to Abuja and banished to a remote location.”

Mahmoud decried that notwithstanding the status of his client is the society, he was subjected to such degrading treatment.

He argued that it was clear from the way the former Emir was treated, that his rights were grossly violated, a situation that led him to seek the intervention of the court.

He prayed the court to grant all the reliefs his client sought in the suit, among which included the declaration of his confinement in Nasarawa state as illegal.

However, all the Respondents, through their respective lawyers, urged the court to dismiss the suit for want of jurisdiction.

Counsel to the IGP, Victor Okoye, further challenged the competence of the suit, noting that the instrument conveying Sanusi’s banishment was authored and endorsed by an official of the Kano State Government.

He therefore argued that the Applicant ought to have filed the case before a Kano state high court.

Likewise, counsel to the DG of the DSS, Godwin Agbadua, urged the court to strike out the suit on the grounds that the alleged rights violation occurred in Kano, stressing that there is a Federal High Court in Kano, before which Sanusi could seek redress.

On his part, the Attorney General of Kano State who was represented by Musa Mohammed, also challenged the jurisdiction of the court in Abuja to entertain the case.

He urged the court to dismiss the suit in its entirety for want of jurisdiction and competence.

Meanwhile, reacting to the judgement, the Kano State AG, through the lawyer that represented him in court on Tuesday, Abdulsallam Salleh, said they would study it properly and decide on the next line of action.

“We will look at the judgement critically and consult with our client (Kano state government) on whether we will appeal against it on not”, Salleh told newsmen.

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Yanzu-yanzu-Kotu ta rushe shugabancin Abdullahi Abbas

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Mukhtar Yahya Usman

Wata kotun tarayya dake Abuja ta rushe zaben shugabancin jam’iyya APC da tsagin gwamnan Kano Abdullahi Ganduje ya gudanar.

KANO FOCUS ta ruwaito mai shari’a Hamza Mua’zu ne ne ya rushe zaben a zaman kotu na yau  Talata.

Haka kuma mai shari’ar ya tabbatar da zaben da tsagin tshohon gwamnan Kano Ibrahim shekarau ya gudanar.

A cewar mai shari’ar zaben na bangaren Shekarau ya samu sanya hannun mutum 7 daga cikin wadanda uwar jam’iyyar ta turo jihar Kano domin gudanar da zaben.

Cikin abinda tsagin Shekarau ya gabatar, gaban kotun shi ne tsagin na gwamna Ganduje bai gudanar da zaben matakin kanan nan hukumomi da mazabu ba.

Idan za a iya tunawa a watan da ya gabata ne aka gudanar da zaben shugabancin jam’iyya APC a jihohin kasar nan ciki har da nan Kano.

Sai dai a nan Kano an samu rashin hadin kai tsakanin mambobin jam’iyyar.

Hakan ta sanya gwamna Ganduje ya gudanar da zaben tare da wadanda ke goya masa baya a wani wuri daban.

Yayin da Malam Ibrahim shekarau ya gudanar da nasa zaben da a wani wurin daban

Haka zalika tsagin na gwaman Ganduje ya zabi Abdullahi Abbas  a matsayin shugaba, ya yin da tsagin Ibrahim Shekarau ya zabi Ahmad Haruna Zago a matsayin shugaba.

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Dangote refinery to become highest employer of chemical engineers in Nigeria

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Mukhtar Yahya Usman

The National President of Nigeria Society of Chemical Engineers (NSCh) says Dangote Oil Refining Company will be the highest employer of chemical engineers in the country when the refinery comes on stream.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Society’s National President, Engr. Saidu A. Muhammed, disclosed this during the NSCh’s visit to Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical project at Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos over the weekend.

He commended the company for its contribution to energy security in Nigeria.

Muhammed, said the industries in Nigeria have not been able to absorb the over 1,000 engineers yearly from Nigerian Universities.

“We, the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers, have keenly been watching the progress of the refinery project.

“When completed, the refinery will be the singular largest employer of chemical engineers in the country.

“Nigerian Universities turn out about 1,000 chemical engineers every year and the avenues for employment have been very scarce.

“The industry has not been able to fully absorb the number of chemical engineers that passed out of the universities years ago.

“Some companies within the sector are not running at the optimum level. Therefore, employment is really key.

“However, from the energy security point of view, chemical engineers are always concerned about what can be put in place to guarantee energy security in the country.
“Nigeria is blessed with abundant crude oil, but unfortunately, we are importing petroleum products simply because Nigeria’s own refineries are not utilizing their installed capacity”, he said.

‘When you see a brand new refinery like the Dangote Refinery that has the capacity to meet the petroleum products needs of the country, there is need to celebrate such company”, Muhammed added.

He expressed delight over the size of the project and the level of work that has gone into the construction of the refinery.

“The Dangote Refinery project is very impressive, very big. There is no project of this magnitude right now in this part of the world.

“We are delighted to see that the project is nearing completion and many things have been done.”

He commended the Dangote Group for its plans to ensure that Nigerian engineers are trained to handle the operation of the refinery plant, which has been acclaimed to be the largest single-train refinery in the world.

“We are most impressed by the numbers of Nigerians that we see within the site working at various sections of the plant.

‘We are glad that Dangote is building this type of project in Nigeria, which is one of the largest in the world,” he said.

Muhammed added that the members of the association are happy to see that Dangote Refinery will contribute significantly to energy security in Africa.

“We are also happy about the refinery’s contribution to energy security in Africa. The refinery is also going to have a positive impact on Nigeria’s downstream oil and gas industry.”

Speaking also at the event, the Technical Consultant to the President of Dangote Group, Engr. Babajide Soyode commended the chemical engineers for coming on a tour of the refinery.

According to Soyode, Dangote’s refinery will help Nigeria meet and exceed its current demand for gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and kerosene, leaving ample product for export.

“This connotes significant positive economic impact on Nigeria and the West African region, transforming Nigeria from a net importer to exporter of refined petroleum products and curtailing significant foreign exchange outflows.

“Additionally, the availability of excess fuel will also provide a catalyst for eliminating Nigeria’s expensive fuel subsidy,” he added.

Soyode said that the 650,000 barrels-per-day refinery would complement other major infrastructure investments that Dangote has planned at the strategically located Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos, including a port, gas processing facility, power plant, and petrochemical and Fertiliser complex.

“When completed, this infrastructure complex will create a significant economy of scale for one of Africa’s largest industrial conglomerates, supporting jobs in both Nigeria and other African countries”, he added.

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