Do not answer calls from unknown numbers: Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw
Vaishnaw urged citizens to never answer calls from unfamiliar numbers and only respond to calls from recognized telephone or mobile numbers. His remarks were made in response to a question about the prevalence of spam calls and cyber fraud.
Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw advised individuals on Friday to avoid answering phone calls from "unknown numbers" and emphasized that the ministry's initiatives have resulted in a notable decrease in spam calls and instances of cyber fraud.
During a press briefing, Vaishnaw urged citizens to never answer calls from unfamiliar numbers and only respond to calls from recognized telephone or mobile numbers. His remarks were made in response to a question about the prevalence of spam calls and cyber fraud.
The minister highlighted the recent launch of the 'Sanchar Saathi' portal by his ministry, which aims to prevent spam calls and cyber fraud. He also mentioned that more than 40 lakh incorrect SIMs and 41,000 unauthorized "points of sale" agents have been blacklisted. The implementation of artificial intelligence has played a significant role in reducing such incidents, he added.
Vaishnaw advised individuals to answer calls from unknown numbers only if they receive an identification message from the caller.
Just last week, the national cyber security agency issued an advisory stating that an Android malware known as 'Daam' is spreading and infecting mobile phones, allowing unauthorized access to sensitive data such as call records, contacts, history, and the device's camera.
According to the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), the malware is capable of evading anti-virus programs and deploying ransomware on targeted devices. CERT-In serves as the federal technology agency responsible for combating cyber attacks and safeguarding cyberspace against phishing, hacking, and other online assaults.
The Android botnet is responsible for distributing the malware is primarily found on third-party websites or applications downloaded from untrusted or unknown sources, as stated by the agency.
Once installed on a device, the malware attempts to bypass security measures and proceeds to steal sensitive data and permissions, including reading history and bookmarks, terminating background processes, accessing call logs, and more, according to the advisory.
Additionally, 'Daam' possesses the ability to hack phone call recordings, contacts, camera access, device password modification, screenshot capturing, SMS theft, file downloading/uploading, and transmission to the command-and-control (C2) server from the affected person's device, as mentioned in the advisory.