More hackers targeting mobile phones to get bank info, survey says

Hackers are increasingly targeting mobile phones to get into bank accounts of victims and steal money, security researchers say
Hackers are increasingly targeting mobile phones to get into bank accounts of victims and steal money, security researchers say

Hackers are increasingly targeting mobile phones to get into bank accounts of victims and steal money, security researchers said Tuesday.

A report by Kaspersky Labs with Interpol found that 60 percent of the malicious programs targeting Android devices between August 2013 and July 2014 were designed to steal money or banking credentials.

The report focused on Android, which accounts for roughly 85 percent of the mobile device market and 98 percent of mobile malware.

Just like other online operations, hackers are moving into mobile because more users access the Internet from these devices.

The survey of users registered with Kaspersky found more than 588,000 Android users worldwide faced financial malware attacks, six times higher than the prior 12 months.

"It is easy to understand why cybercriminals create so many targeting Android devices: these days, smartphones are increasingly often used as a tool to pay online for merchandise and services," the report said.

"Apps can be installed through Google Play as well as third parties such as Amazon App store. Third party apps pose a security threat to users who enable the installation of apps from unverified sources. These unverified packages may carry malware that would be installed on a device without the user's permission or knowledge."

Kaspersky found the largest number of victims were Android users in Russia. Other countries affected included Ukraine, Spain, Britain, Vietnam, Malaysia, Germany, India and France.

Over the 12-month period, the users surveyed reported some 3.4 million malware detections. The number of monthly attacks increased tenfold from August 2013 to March 2014.

The report said the biggest growth is coming from "Trojan-Banker" and "Trojan-SMS" malware that allow hackers access to .

"A successful Trojan-Banker infection can give a fraudster access to all of the victim's money, while a Trojan-SMS needs to infect dozens or even hundreds of devices to show a worthwhile profit," said Kaspersky analyst Roman Unuchek.

The report comes amid growing interest in mobile payments, allowing consumers to use their phones to pay at participating stores.

Apple's payments system began operating on Monday.


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Kaspersky Lab spots mobile malware interest on bank accounts

© 2014 AFP

Citation: More hackers targeting mobile phones to get bank info, survey says (2014, October 21) retrieved 26 June 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-10-hackers-mobile-bank-info-survey.html
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Oct 21, 2014
More evidence of attacks on smart phones at a time when some misguided organisations are fighting against improved security for mobile devices...

Most of the malware comes from the usual places, like pirated apps, email attachments, SMS messages, compromised websites and some through official application stores. It is not a simple issue to address and there are many factors that contribute to the problem.

User education hasn't kept up with technology and there is a lack of understanding about basic device security.

A device OS that does not allow owners to limit permissions, instead forcing them to accept broad permissions that could be misused.

Users installing apps that admit they collect user information is truly scary and not likely to change when the company behind Android is an advertising company, with a business built around mining user data...

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