Google Play Store Apps loaded with Banking Malware


Slovakia based antivirus solutions provider ‘ESET’ has warned all Android phone users against banking malware lurking in Google Play Store. The IT security company says that the web search giants ‘Play Store’ which is home to millions of apps is hosting notorious ‘free to say’ apps which have the tendency to steal money from e-wallets.

Security experts from ESET believe that the malicious software disguised as device cleaners, battery managers and horoscope apps are acting as launching platforms to cyber crooks who indulge in launching complex and sophisticated cyber attack campaigns.

The said cyber threat is being distributed in the following way- unlike other malware threats that use login screens which are fake; the said malware offers the attacker the privilege to send and receive texts on infected devices. The messages are sophisticated enough to bypass multi factor authentication protocols which usually keep the banking data protected on the web.

The app is also capable of downloading apps of attacker’s choice which impersonate any banking app that is installed on the device.
And then the trouble of stealing money from the e-wallets starts.

Based on the login credentials of the device user, the app tracks down the user’s financial activity and then impersonates his activities to steal or transfer money to remote accounts.

What’s good news about these apps is that they do not employ advanced tricks to ensure their existence on the device even after deletion. So, once a user suspects an app could be a threat, he/she can simply uninstall them under Settings>General> Application Manager/apps.

Also, ESET researchers have advised all banking app users to check their account statements at least once in a fortnight/month to keep a check on any suspicious transactions. Also, it is advised to change the password or pin of the internet banking account once a month.
ESET security experts also want the Google Play Store users to review app ratings and reviews before they download any apps from the said platform. Also, it is better to pay attention to what permissions you grant to the apps which are being installed.

Keeping the android phone updated with the latest security software is well recommended.

Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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