Covid-19 being exploited in stealing financial data by an Android malware from Mexico

September 22, 2021
Covid19 exploited stealing financial data Android Malware

An Android malware that is reported to be targeting Mexico has been discovered by cybersecurity researchers. This malware masquerades itself as a security banking tool or a bank application engineered to report out-of-service ATMs. 

The malware also entirely depends on the sense of urgency in both of the said examples, which are created by the tools intended in fraud prevention that can persuade the victims in using them. Moreover, stealing authentication factors is one of the malware’s features, which is critical in account intrusion of the victims from their targeted financial institutes in Mexico. 

The malware has been identified as Android/Banker.BT by the researchers alongside its many variants. 


The spreading process of the Android malware 

The spreading process of the malware is explained by it being distributed by phishing pages that deliver banking security tips and advice that has actually been copied from an original bank website. Then, it will recommend downloading a specific suspicious application that poses as a security tool or an application that reports out-of-service ATMs. A smishing campaign is most likely to be connected to the threat stated by researchers due to its distribution tactics. Victims can also possibly be reached directly through scam phone calls conducted by threat actors.  

The threat has yet to be discovered to appear on Google Play as of now. 


How to prevent being victimized by these threats 

Banks worldwide have implemented several ways to connect with their clients, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, customers are also becoming more adapting to these changes and new procedures such as installing tools and applications to do their financial transactions remotely. 

Because of these new implementations, cybercriminals are also making advancements in executing scams and phishing attacks that look credible and would not create suspicions among customers. 

Below are some tips to prevent from being victimized by the new threats during the pandemic: 

  • Execute security software on your computers and devices. 
  • Research first before installing suspicious applications on your devices, especially those that request your personal details. 
  • Only use the official application stores on mobiles such as Google Play or App Store. Still, be cautious since malware can also be distributed even on official application stores. 
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