Mobile banking applications that help users check account balances, transfer money, or pay bills are quickly becoming standard products provided by established financial institutions. Banks are adding more sophisticated services and features, allowing users to transact faster and more efficiently. And alternative online payment options, such as PayPal’s Venmo or Square’s Cash app, are also quickly gaining popularity. Many users appreciate the fast and informal transactions these applications offer.
But as these applications gain ground in the banking landscape, cybercriminals are not far behind.
Attackers can use different methods to compromise mobile banking users — from fake applications and snooping, to attacks via malicious network connections and abusing stolen account credentials — and that’s not the end of it. Banking trojans have become more advanced and sophisticated in 2019. The Aunbis malware, for example, has been continuously updated since it first emerged in 2018. In 2019, it adopted motion-based sensors to elude sandbox analysis and overlays to steal personally identifiable information. This August we also saw that the banking malware Trickbot launched a campaign that spread spam emails with malicious attachments. More recently, counterfeit apps were spotted pushing the Ginp Trojan, which steals user login and credit card information.
Since financial apps are all so closely connected or directly tied to a user’s finances — which consequently makes them attractive cybercriminal targets — security should be a top priority. Below we provide tips and guidelines for securing mobile banking applications, and adding layers of defense to help avoid digital threats.
Mobile application manufacturers and financial institutions are generally responsive to threats and constantly improve their products and services. But, aside from consistently patching and updating, there are other ways to keep your mobile banking secure.
Trend Micro Mobile Security for Android and iOS provides a complete endpoint security system for mobile devices, including protection from browser, web, file, and app security threats. Trend Micro’s Wi-Fi Protection for Android and iOS provides a VPN for public Wi-Fi hotspots using Trend Micro’s secure cloud servers, which encrypts the Wi-Fi connection and prevents hijacking via man-in-the-middle attacks. Trend Micro HouseCall for Home Networks for Android and iOS (as well as Windows and Mac) scans all of the devices on the home network for privacy leaks and other network infections, since many home network devices have security issues that attackers can use to control them or the network itself.
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