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NCC raises alarm over new phishing attacks, malware threats

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THE Nigerian Communications Commission’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (NCC-CSIRT) has raised the alarm over a vulnerability said to be present in all versions of windows-based products as phishing attacks and malware threats.

The CSIRT is the telecom sector’s cyber security incidence centre.

It was set up by the NCC to focus on incidents in the telecom sector and as they may affect consumers and citizens at large.

The CSIRT also works in collaboration with ngCERT, which was established by the Federal Government to reduce the volume of future computer risk incidents.

They do this by preparing, protecting and securing Nigerian cyberspace to forestall attacks.

An advisory contained in a statement by the Commission’s Director of Public Affairs, Reuben Muoka, said the phishing exploit on windows zero-day vulnerability can load a malicious QBot malware without triggering any windows security alerts on the compromised device.

“To take advantage of the Windows Mark of the Web zero-day vulnerability, threat actors have switched to a new phishing strategy that involves propagating JS files (plain text files that include JavaScript code) signed with forged signatures. The newest phishing attempt begins with an email that contains a password for the file along with a link to an allegedly important document.

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“When the link is clicked, a password-protected ZIP folder that includes another zip file and an IMG file is downloaded. Normally, launching the JS file in Windows would result in a Mark of the Web security warning because it is an Internet-based file.

“However, the forged signature permits the JS script to function and load the malicious QBot program without triggering any Windows security alerts,” the advisory read.

According to NCC-CSIRT, ProxyLife security researcher found the new phishing exploit on Windows zero-day vulnerability to drop a Qbot malware without displaying Mark of the Web (MoTW) security warnings.

NCC-CSIRT further advised users to apply updates per vendor instructions.

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