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
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