Android Mobile Banking Trojan Hits US, Euro Banks

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HelpNet Security is reporting that an Android Banking Trojan is targeting customers of 94 banks in US and Europe. IT security experts from Lastline, VASCO Data Security and NuData Security commented below.

Giovanni Vigna, PhD, Co-founder and CTO at Lastline:

giovanni-vigna“It is not surprising that Android malware is becoming more “trigger-based” and evasive. As users are increasingly relying on their smartphones for security-critical operations such as banking, cybercriminals are leverainging these new activities to collect information about two-factor authentication messages, or credentials to spread malware through social network accounts. The situation is so bad that even academic researchers have been focused on this type of malware.

“However, trigger-based malware is only one side of the coin – there’s also usability issues. In a smartphone environment, it is also difficult to understand which application is actually running at a specific moment. This leaves the smartphone open to phishing and clickjacking attacks, in which malware waits in the background until a specific app is launched. At the time of the user application launch, the malware takes control of the device and presents to the user a login page similar to the one the user intends to use (e.g., Facebook). By doing this, the malware can collect credentials that are later used for spreading malware and performing social engineering attacks.”

 Frederik Mennes, Senior Manager Market & Security Strategy, Security Competence Center at VASCO Data Security:

frederik-mennes“Incidents like the Android Flash Player malware attack highlight the need for banking applications to build in Runtime Application Self-Protection (RASP) capabilities so that the application is protected against advanced attacks. If errant behavior is detected, like the pop-up of an overlay when the user wants to log onto the mobile banking application, RASP capabilities can prevent the user’s credentials from being stolen.”

Don Duncan, Security Engineer at NuData Security:

don-duncan“Don Duncan, Security Engineer, NuData Security says, “Recently the announcement of a fake Android Player app targeting mobile financial applications highlights some of the challenges in the world of mobility with the concepts of convenience vs. security. What is frightening for me and our customers is again; banking credentials are compromised. It’s precisely why it is hard for consumers to trust online banking, and it’s a hassle because now these victims have to call their banks and reset banking credentials. There is also the fact they can so easily intercept SMS messages, making the 2factor authentication less secure. Once again trust is eroded and unnecessary friction has been injected into the bank-to-customer relationship.”



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