FBI: Increased hacking risk through Mobile Banking apps

June 19, 2020
fbi warns mobile banking apps fraud fraud prevention

With the ongoing pandemic crisis and huge breakthroughs with bank services technology, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) through one of its public agency, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) released its warning with the increase of mobile banking fraud-related incident again.

With the statistical report given by the Cybersecurity experts, they have confirmed that 75 percent of Americans used mobile banking services in 2019 due to its convenience and ease of transaction. With the crisis that is currently experiencing, they were able to see already a 50 percent increase in usage compared to last year’s record at the same time.

Mobile banking service is recognized globally as a significant development in the financial sector. People can do business transactions such as money transfer, bill payments, and purchases through the use of internet-connected devices. The technology will lessen the hassle of going through real banks or markets and be caught in heavy lines of people waiting to do their business. People can either choose to use developed mobile apps of their bank or log in through their bank’s website.


Malice: Exploitation of the mobile services platform

Unfortunately, as this sector of financial progress, so as malicious actors able to keep up on this development. By developing fake mobile apps and creating fake websites, these hackers can continue to operate on their modus, how? By explicitly mimicking the official website or app of the financial institution, they can extract sensitive data such as the username and password of their fallen victim. The most vulnerable are those who are new in using this type of service. They can even exfiltrate content from your devices once it becomes compromised.

As stated in the report, hackers start such attacks by embedding malicious codes to mobile apps or websites that a user may install or visit from the internet and will be stored on their devices. These codes are typically a malware trojan that is triggered once the user accesses their bank accounts through the compromised machine. As the user opened their online banking apps, the code works are to copy the information typed by the user and will send it remotely to the hacker for their perusal.


The FBI’s Precaution

As per the bureau’s warning, users must only download Mobile Banking apps through legit sites such as Google Playstore or Apple Store or from the official website of their banks as these sources imposed multi-layered security to ensure it is free from any malicious codes. Multi-factor authentication is also a must as any hacker does not easily bypass this security feature. Lastly, call their financial institution immediately in case they have noticed suspicious activity on their account to start a formal investigation. One must always remain vigilant and cautious with their hard-earned money and ensure that they are transacting only to trusted sources and individuals.

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