Authorities Take Down SMS-based FluBot Android Spyware

The takedown resulted from a global law enforcement operation involving eleven countries, headed by Europol’s European Cybercrime Center.

The European Cybercrime Center/EC3 of Europol and law enforcement agencies from eleven countries launched a joint operation to take down FluBot spyware. The investigation involved Australia, Finland, Belgium, Spain, Ireland, Hungary, Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the USA law enforcement authorities while EC3 coordinated the operation.

Ireland’s Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau (GNCCB) was part of the investigation team. GNCCB Detective Superintendent Pat Ryan stated that “the investigation is ongoing to identify the individuals behind this global malware campaign.”

Details of the Operation

In a blog post, Europol explained that the FluBot Android malware was distributed through SMS and was capable of stealing online banking credentials, passwords, and other sensitive data. Hence, an extensive investigation was launched since FluBot spyware targeted Android smartphones across Australia, Europe, and other parts of the world.

Authorities noted that its distribution scope was widening quickly. Now the spyware is under the control of Dutch Police/Politie, which carried out the operation in May, rendering the malware strain inactive.

A Flubot alert received by one of the victims as a text message About FluBot

FluBot malware is

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