Oops! You have accidentally installed a suspicious app. Now what?

Picture this: you leave for work and when you get there you discover that you have forgotten your smartphone at home. Nowadays, many people get the creeps from such a scenario. After all, we are increasingly connected to our smartphone. As our trust in our smartphone grows, our critical eye fades. Enter: cybercriminals.

Cybercriminals are eagerly capitalising on increased smartphone use, with the result that smartphone users are ever more the targets of phishing, viruses, malware, ... October 2022 is cyber security month, time to reflect on the smartphone’s potential dangers - lest our close friend become a dangerous enemy.

In 2021, more than 11,000 smartphone users were caught out by cybercriminals. For this data breach, the cybercriminals deployed mobile malware. In other words, they designed special software for mobile devices with the goal of gaining access to your private data. The name of this mobile malware will probably ring a bell: the FluBot virus.

The FluBot virus caused one of the biggest cyber attacks to hit the modern Internet user. In no time, the virus infected more than 11,000 smartphones after users inattentively downloaded an unsafe application. The virus appropriated all contact details and continued its journey to all contacts on the infected smartphone.

In total, a daily average of 2 million messages were detected and blocked by operators between September 6 and 13, 2021 (Figures BIPT, 2021). Eventually, a large-scale police action in 2022 put a stop to FluBot. While this virus is history, other viruses are always ready to attack.

How can you outsmart cybercriminals? We are happy to share some tips to keep your smartphone close.

What can we learn from this incident?

Download apps only from the official app store

Prevention is better than cure. Through one simple principle, you can outsmart hackers: download apps only from the official app stores (Google Play, App Store) or through official vendors (LG, Samsung, SONY, Amazon, ...). Google and Apple check their apps for malware and thus offer a higher security guarantee than other vendors. Never download an app from an unfamiliar source. Chances are you will install a dangerous app or even a virus.

OK is not always OK!

First check, then click. In fact, clicking OK may have very unpleasant consequences. Be very cautious when you receive an email or text message in which they try to convince you to download an app. You will most likely be redirected to a less secure app store, increasing the chances of a virus. Do you receive a warning that you want to install an untrustworthy app? Then immediately cancel its download. In short, always use your head when clicking.

Be up-to-date

Do you get a notification to perform an update? Do this as soon as possible. In addition, restart your smartphone on a regular basis in order to install some updates automatically. This is because every app has its vulnerabilities, through which cybercriminals try to enter. Those software bugs are always being discovered and fixed. So to protect your device, you need to run the latest update.

How can we help you?

By training your employees during a cyber security training. They are cautioned against the dangers of opening emails and text messages, using social media and setting passwords. After the training, they should have mastered the proper reflex when receiving a suspicious email or phone.

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"Jaarlijks wordt een ledenvergadering georganiseerd waarbij hot topics zoals bijvoorbeeld cybersecurity, food defense, … naar voor komen (ook op basis van suggesties van de aangesloten leden) en waar er mogelijkheid is om ervaringen te delen met andere voedingsbedrijven."

The Belgian Chocolate group

Simulatie oefening

"Jaarlijks hebben we een gesimuleerde crisisoefening die door Food Security werd voorbereid en begeleid tijdens de dag zelf, uitgevoerd. Hierbij worden de leden van het crisisteam (en hun vervangers) ondergedompeld in een onverwachte situatie die on the spot moet worden behandeld. Deze oefening heeft ervoor gezorgd dat (bij een echt voorval dat we hebben gehad) de betrokken mensen hun taken en verantwoordelijkheden kenden, wisten welke info snel moest opgezocht worden, dat bepaalde teksten voorbereid waren, dat de juiste communicatie kon gebeuren, …. De debriefing bij elke oefening legt de onvolmaaktheden bloot dewelke dan weer materiaal zijn voor trainingen daarna."

The Belgian Chocolate group

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