Economy

Quick Heal states Android Malware focused on hacking 232 Banking apps

Quick Heal states Android Malware focused on hacking 232 Banking apps

Do not download apps from third-party stores and stick to Google Play only.

Which Indian Banking Apps Are Targeted?

The malware Android.banker.A2f8a, can steal personal data, intercept SMS messages, which contain OTPs, steal contacts, and is known for carrying out malicious activities using banking apps.

Among the 232 banking apps are a few Indian banks as well such as Axis Mobile, HDFC Bank MobileBanking, SBI Anywhere Personal, iMobile by ICICI Bank, IDBI GO Mobile+, to name a few.

The malware also targets a multitude of apps from worldwide banks, cryptocurrency wallets, Amazon Shopping app, eBay and AirBnB among others. Flash Player app is a popular target for cybercriminals. "Once this is done, the malicious app hides its icon soon after the user taps on it", the report added. It keeps checking for the installed apps on the victim's device and particularly looks for the listed 232 banking and cryptocurrency apps.

According to researchers at California-based cybersecurity company Symantec, the newly-discovered malware variant uses a unique monetisation technique, in addition to the common overlay tricks of asking users to enter their credit card details. The virus collects the data by popping up a login screen demanding for the user's username and password.

Fake Uber app screen
Fake Uber app screens for users to enter their registered mobile number and

Once the users click the arrow button (as shown in the image below) to proceed, the malware immediately sends the login credentials to its remote server. Hence it can get the OTP even though if we have kept two-factor authentication to our bank account.

"The Fakeapp variant we found had a spoofed Uber application user interface (UI) which pops up on the user's device screen in regular intervals until the user gets tricked into entering their Uber ID (typically the registered phone number) and password", Symantec explains.

In order to stay safe from this and other banking trojans, users should avoid downloading apps from third-party app stores or from links provided in texts or emails.

Once the fake app is downloaded on an Android device, the trojan takes over and repeatedly requests the user to activate administrative rights until it obtains the same.

It is being spread through some flash player apps and once downloaded it tries to imitate the banking apps.

As an extra precaution, go through the list of permissions every app requests from you during installation.

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