Sunday, July 21, 2024

Singapore Police Arrested Two Individuals Involved in Hacking Android Devices

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) has arrested two men, aged 26 and 47, for their suspected involvement in malware-enabled scams targeting Singaporeans since June 2023.

The suspects will be charged in court today.

The SPF, in collaboration with the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) and the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP), formed a joint investigation team in November 2023.

Over seven months, the team meticulously traced the complex web of criminal activity and online infrastructure hosting the malware.

The investigation revealed that the two men operated servers to infect victims‘ Android devices with a malicious Android Package Kit (APK) app, allowing them to control the phones and access sensitive information.

The suspects were arrested in Malaysia on June 12, 2024, with the assistance of the RMP, and were handed over to the SPF on June 14, 2024.

Preliminary investigations indicate that the stolen information was used to perform fraudulent transactions on victims’ banking accounts, leading to significant financial losses.

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International Cooperation and Arrests

The SPF’s efforts extended beyond Singapore’s borders.

Information shared with the Taiwan Police led to the takedown of a fraudulent customer service center in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan.

Four individuals were arrested, and assets worth approximately US$1.33 million were seized.

Additionally, the HKPF dismantled 52 malware-controlling servers in Hong Kong and arrested 14 money mules.

Deputy Director of the Criminal Investigation Department, Assistant Commissioner of Police (AC) Paul Tay, expressed gratitude for the international cooperation, stating, “The arrest of these malware operators and dismantling of scam infrastructure demonstrates the resolve of the SPF in fighting scams.”

Public Advisory and Precautionary Measures

The SPF urges the public to be cautious when downloading apps and to adopt the following measures:

  • ADD: Install ScamShield and enable security features like two-factor authentication (2FA) for bank accounts.
  • CHECK: Verify apps with official sources and only download from reputable app stores.
  • TELL: Inform authorities, family, and friends about scams and report any suspicious activity immediately.

If you suspect your phone is infected with malware, switch to flight mode, run an anti-virus scan, and check for unauthorized transactions.

Report any fraudulent activity to your bank and the police promptly.

The SPF remains committed to pursuing criminals, even those operating beyond Singapore’s borders, to ensure the safety and security of its citizens.

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Divya is a Senior Journalist at GBhackers covering Cyber Attacks, Threats, Breaches, Vulnerabilities and other happenings in the cyber world.

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