The Centre for Cybersecurity Belgium and the Cyber Security Coalition join forces again for the annual cyber security awareness campaign. Mobile viruses (mobile malware) are clearly on the rise. Therefore, the campaign theme is protecting your mobile devices. These days, almost everyone has at least one mobile device in their pocket. We can no longer live without it. But this is not without danger. If you are not careful, you can install a virus just like that. Clicking OK is not always OK! The campaign's message is therefore clear: only download apps from official app shops and keep viruses out.
OK is not always OK
The Centre for Cybersecurity Belgium and the Cyber Security Coalition are once again joining forces for the national awareness campaign. Together with more than 500 partners, we fight against fraudsters with the slogan “OK is not always OK!”.
Nowadays, everyone, young and old, has a smartphone in their pocket. We use it for more and more applications: to stay in touch with friends, make purchases, watch films, play games or do homework. Criminals and fraudsters see this as a great opportunity. The number of viruses developed specifically to target mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, is on the rise (mobile malware).
In 2021, the most worrying cyberattack affecting ordinary internet users, was undoubtedly the spread of the FLUBOT virus. In no time this virus infected more than 11,000 smartphones because users carelessly downloaded an application. This allowed the virus to spread unnoticed to all the victims’ contacts.
An infected device sends sometimes more than 10,000 messages. Between 6 and 13 September 2021, an average of 2 million messages per day were detected and blocked by operators. (Figures BIPT, 2021) FLUTBOT’s infrastructure was dismantled by a large-scale police action in 2022. FLUTBOT may have disappeared from the radar but there are dozens of other viruses ready to launch a fierce attack.
The main cause of device infection is downloading unsafe apps. This year’s campaign slogan is “OK is not always OK!”. After all, clicking OK to download an app can have unpleasant consequences. Prevention is possible and simple: only download apps from official app stores.
How to avoid mobile malware? Install apps from an official/approved app shop only!
Securing your smartphone is not that difficult. We give herewith the following tips:
- Be careful when you receive an e-mail or a text message asking you to download an app. There is a high probability that through a less secure app store you are installing a dangerous app or importing a virus.
- If you get a warning that you are about to install an untrustworthy app, stop immediately its installation.
- While installing an app, you are usually asked to give access to other data such as your photos, your contacts or your location. Limit the access of your applications to what is strictly necessary. Regularly delete applications you do not use and frequently check the data your applications use to detect inappropriate traffic.
- Execute updates as soon as you receive a notification. Activate automatic updates for your hardware and software. This ensures that as soon as a vulnerability is detected, your device will be better protected. Shut down your devices every day. After all, updates are usually performed automatically at start-up.
More tips can be found on the Safeonweb website.
All campaign materials can be found here in Dutch, French, German and English.
11 October 2022 – Launch of the national campaign
The campaign is launched today with a press conference. You can support the campaign during the European Cyber Security Month, or later this year, but you can also do it at any other time, when it fits into your annual planning, or you can link it to current events.
Materials from previous campaigns (2015-2021) are also available for further use. Last year’s national campaign videos of Belgium and Slovenia were chosen as the best ones by the member states in a recent contest organized by ENISA.
This year we celebrate the tenth anniversary of the European Cyber Security Month. Results show that each new ECSM campaign is outperforming previous years, especially in terms of activities organized and outreach of people via social media. We are grateful to all our members who make their utmost effort for this campaign every year again. Let’s make sure this year’s campaign surpasses the previous ones.