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NCC warns against ‘HiddenAds’ malware, says it jeopardises users’ privacy

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has warned the public of a new malware — HiddenAds, which is capable of affecting device performance and jeopardizing users’ privacy.

Reuben Muoka, NCC’s director of public affairs, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.

According to the statement, the computer security incidents response team (CSIRT) set up by the commission, said the virus was first identified by the McAfee Mobile Research Team, as high in probability and damage potential.

“Upon installation, it can run malicious services without the user opening the app. It also spams the user with irrelevant advertisements. The apps have received downloads ranging from 100,000 to over a million,” the statement reads.

“Some of the apps HiddenAds masquerades as are: Junk Cleaner, EasyCleaner, Power Doctor, Carpet Clean, Super Clean, Meteor Clean, Strong Clean, Windy Clean, Fingertip Cleaner, Keep Clean, Full Clean – Clean Cache, Quick Cleaner, and Cool Clean.

“When a user installs any of the aforementioned apps, whether the user has opened the app or not, a malicious service is immediately installed on the device. The app will then attempt to blend into the app tray by changing its icon to the Google Play icon that every android user is familiar with. Its name will also change to ‘Google Play’ or ‘setting’.

“The device will then be bombarded with ads in a variety of deceptive ways, severely impairing the user experience.”

NCC further said anyone that installs the compromised app will experience their device performance suffering significantly.

It added that “clicking on the ads may result in stealth downloads and installation of other malware, users may inadvertently subscribe to services and be billed on a monthly basis, and the privacy of users will be jeopardised”.

The commission further disclosed that where the malicious app’s icon and name have changed, it can be identified by the fact that it is removable while the legitimate Google Play app cannot be uninstalled.

The NCC-CSIRT, therefore, advised users to avoid downloading questionable apps or apps they are unsure about while those who have installed any of the identified malicious apps should immediately delete them.

The commission also recommended the installation of anti-virus or anti-malware software with a proven track record for detecting and removing malware.

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FG sues Meta over ‘unapproved adverts’, seeks 30bn penalty

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The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has sued Meta Platforms Incorporated, owners of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp platforms, for showing unapproved advertisements to the Nigerian audience.

In a statement on Tuesday, ARCON also said it sued Meta’s agent, AT3 Resources Limited, in the suit filed before the federal high court in Abuja.

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Sanwo-Olu approves salary increase for workers

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Governor Bababjide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has announced an upward review of salaries for the over 100,000 public workers in the state.

Governor Sanwo-Olu, who did not disclose the actual increment, said the increase will be above the Federal Government’s minimum wage standard, “as Lagos is a pacesetter and first in setting the standard.”

The governor also promised to pay all the outstanding backlog of pensions to workers by the end of October.

Sanwo-Olu disclosed these on Tuesday, while addressing a large crowd of workers who converged on the Head of Service, HOS’ office, during his working visit to the secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja.

On the salary review, the governor said: “We know there is inflation and high cost of living in the country, but we are determined to cushion the effects on our workers and residents.

“Last month (September), I instructed the Head of Service, HoS, the Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pensions to work out modalities for salary increase for the entire over 100,000 of public service workforce.

“We are capable of doing this. Lagos leads while others follow in Nigeria. In salary increment, we are leading again.

“We are going to reflect the popular Buga slogan in the payment of salaries. We are not going to wait for the Federal Government’s Minimum Wage increase.

“We have commenced the process, I can assure that by early next year it wlil be ready for implementation.

“We don’t want to wait for workers’ unions to hold us to ransome before we do the needful.”

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Again, two-storey building collapses in Ibadan

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A two-storey building located in the Ashi area of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, has collapsed.

The building, which is said to be used as a shopping and office complex reportedly came down at around 2 am on Monday.

Residents of the area told newsmen that no life was lost in the incident which initially made people in the area panic.

Goods were said to have been trapped under the rubble and caterpillars were later invited to clear the debris to salvage some of the goods and appliances.

Another resident, who identified himself as Taye, said the land upon which the building was erected was used as a burial ground before it was sold.

Taye said corpses were exhumed before the building was erected on the piece of land. He added that the structure had been giving a sign of possible failure before it finally collapsed.

The South-West Coordinator of the National Emergency Maintenance Agency, Saheed Akiode, told our correspondent that nobody was hurt or killed in the incident.

He said, “We went there today and we heard that the building has been there for about 30 years. But nobody was there when it collapsed because it happened at around 2am.

“The building is an office complex and efforts were being made to salvage some of the appliances and other valuables there. But we are happy that no life was lost and nobody was injured because nobody was there when it collapsed.”

The structure collapsed less than a month ago after an uncompleted five storey-building came down at Awosika Street at Bodija. Some masons who slept at the uncompleted hotel were injured in the incident which happened around 5:30 am.

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