One out of every three smartphone users are victimized by malware banking apps; are you the one?

One out of every three smartphone users are victimized by malware banking apps; are you the one?
The results of a global research study performed by cybersecurity firm Avast and announced at MWC, doesn't bode well for those who use their smartphone to bank. 36% of those who responded to the survey couldn't tell the difference between a fake banking app and a real one. This means that roughly one out of every three smartphone users is at risk of having their financial information (not to mention money) end up in the wrong hands.

40,000 people in 12 countries were surveyed by Avast, and the legitimate mobile banking apps used in the survey were global firms that have already been targeted by criminals up to no good. Those banks include Citibank, Wells Fargo, Santander, HSBC, ING, Chase, Bank of Scotland and Sberbank. Countries where the study took place included the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Russia, Japan, Mexico, Argentina, Indonesia, Czech Republic, Brazil, and Spain.

43% of those taking the survey use mobile apps to bank. 30% of those who don't, steer clear of them because they fear that there is no security to protect users from fraudulent activity. 58% of respondents mistakenly called an official mobile banking app a fake. As we pointed out already, 36% thought the fake banking app was the real thing. In the U.S., fewer consumers incorrectly thought the real app was fake (40%) but more (42%) thought the fake app was real. Considering that this is the scenario that leads to problems, stateside consumers need to make sure that the banking apps they use are the real things. Avast says that both Android and iOS users need to be vigilant.

This, however, is getting increasingly harder to do. According to Avast, hackers are getting more sophisticated in creating mobile banking apps that look like the real thing. The cybersecurity firm found new versions of the BankBot Trojan in the Google Play Store disguised as flashlight and solitaire apps. When these apps are installed on a smartphone, they create a fake overlay over a real mobile banking app, collecting account information from the user who thinks he/she is typing on the real app.

Don't be a victim. If something about a banking app doesn't look right to you, remove it from your phone immediately.

via BGR



9. Mr.Pussy

Posts: 348; Member since: Feb 16, 2017

I have 2nd bank account which I only deposit $200. Hardly use it but if I don't have cash or forgot my wallet there's that $200 sit in my phone. When I run low then deposit more.

13. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Not sure how US bank apps work, but most Dutch banks use a token system which is generated on a token device based on your account,pincode and a generated handshake. This token changes every few minutes and is only valid for the generated handshake. So even if a fake app would be able to catch what you type, the token is useless to them.

14. Stranded87

Posts: 53; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

That's a seriously misleading title. Makes it sound like 1 in 3 smartphone users are actively using (or have used) malware banking apps, which isn't even close to true.

15. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3166; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

They say a fool and his money soon part. I say it's a miracle they ever get together in the first place.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.