Hackers Blackmailing Money-Lending Apps Users to Divulge Private Data

Hackers are taking advantage of money-lending apps to carry out a malware campaign called “MoneyMonger”, aimed at blackmailing users into meeting up with certain demands else they risk having their private information revealed to the public.


Developing countries like Nigeria are a prime target for dodgy loan apps and this has created an avenue for hackers to exploit. Although none of the 33 apps used in the deceptive scheme have been distributed through the Google Play Store, they have been distributed through unofficial app stores, smishing (SMS Phishing), rogue ads, compromised websites and social media campaigns.

The campaign has reportedly racked up over 100,000 downloads. Impact Once the malware is installed, it harvests and uploads a wide range of private information from the victim’s device onto its server. The collected data include GPS locations, text messages, contacts, call logs, files, photos, and audio recordings amongst others. This information is then used to blackmail the victim into paying excessively high-interest

To avoid being a victim, experts suggest the following preventive measures.

• Install up-to-date anti-malware applications on mobile devices.
• Always install applications from trusted sources.
• Read reviews before downloading any app.
• Be aware of what information the app collects from your device.
• Do not click on suspicious links.

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