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Mobile Banking Theft Focus of Hackers

by: Bryon Turcotte  /  February 27, 2014

Researchers from the security company Kaspersky Labs have determined that "almost 100,000 pieces of malicious code_" had attempted to "_steal data from mobile phones and tablets in 2013_" – a number that is up over 40,000 during 2012, according to a recent article published by The Telegraph website. Furthermore, the article states that "_twice as many malicious programs were found to be targeting smartphones and tablets last year compared to 2012_" and according to the warnings in Kaspersky's research, the attackers wielding these programs are "_looking to steal money from bank accounts."

The article indicates that "hackers have become obsessed with stealing money from banking apps_" since the findings in the Kaspersky reports claim that this "cyber industry" is dedicated to "_hacking banking apps._" The report indicates that by the end of 2013, Kaspersky had "_collected 1,321 unique samples_" determining that approximately 98 percent of these attacks targeted "_Android devices_" with "_64 known banking Trojans aimed at the operating system." Their research claims that "_mobile malware_" has graduated to a position where it is "_becoming more focused on making profits more effectively_," according to the article.

Kaspersky's researchers say that some of this malware has reached such a level of advancement that it can "operate symbiotically with a second virus on a user's PC," according to the article. They explain in the article that when this specific "virus_" invades someone's personal computer, it will attempt to access online banking where it is then faced with a security gatekeeper – which then "_sends a unique code to the user's phone_" not before it is intercepted by the mobile virus which begins "_fooling the bank into thinking that the log-in attempt is genuine." Kaspersky virus analyst Victor Chebyshev was quoted in the article to say, "Today, the majority of banking Trojan attacks target users in Russia and the CIS. However, that is unlikely to last for long: given the cybercriminals' keen interest in user bank accounts, the activity of mobile banking Trojans is expected to grow in other countries in 2014."

Read more details in the full article on the Telegraph website – about the hacker's obsession with gaining entrance to bank accounts – and how sophisticated and dangerous this malware has become in the past year.

Written by Bryon Turcotte  /  February 27, 2014