Telenor has warned customers of a large number of scam messages which have been sent to users over the past few days.
Telenor discovered the fraudulent messages at the end of last week. Scammers have been sending the messages via MMS or Multimedia Messaging Service rather than a standard text to avoid the network’s automatic blocking program.
“When we close one door, the hackers try to open another,” Thorbjørn Busch, senior security advisor at Telenor, told public broadcaster NRK.
The scam is intended to trick people into clicking a link they receive. The link will lead to an app being downloaded on your phone.
The virus app that is installed is called Flubot. The app gives hackers complete access to a phone and forwards fraudulent messages from the device to others, often without the user knowing.
“They want to get you to do things you normally do over the phone. For example, tracking a package, listening to voicemail or watching a video of you online,” Busch explained.
Android phones are especially vulnerable to the Flubot virus, according to the security advisor.
“If you have an Android phone, the hackers can, in the worst case, take over your entire phone. With the consequences it can have, this is very serious, and Flubot is especially aimed at Android phones,” Busch said.
IOS users aren’t safe either, as the virus tries to get iPhone users to hand over sensitive information.
Typically the only way to remove the virus from the phone is a hard reset, which wipes all data, messages and pictures from the phone.
Telenor has advised customers to not click on any suspicious links or download apps that do not come from official stores such as the App Store on Apple and Google Play for Android customers.