Banking apps witness unexpected surge in cyberattacks.

December 17, 2023
1 min read

Key Points:

  • Cyberattacks involving 29 malware families have compromised 1,800 financial apps around the world during the past year, revealing a surge in mobile banking thefts.
  • Traditional banking apps from banks in the U.S., UK, and Italy were the most targeted, as per a report from Zimperium.
  • Morphed malware functionalities, including Automated Transfer System, screen sharing, and Telephone-based Attack Delivery, have surfaced, along with new malware-as-a-service trojans.

A substantial increase in cyberattacks against banking applications has been observed over the previous 12 months. These attacks, involving 29 different malware families, have successfully compromised approximately 1,800 financial apps worldwide, according to a SiliconAngle report. This pattern indicates a rising trend of mobile banking thefts.

Traditional banking apps appear to be the primary targets. The report from cyber security firm Zimperium notes that applications from banks in the U.S., UK, and Italy were the most commonly attacked. Moreover, in the last year, three malware, namely Hook, Godfather, and Teabot, have been identified as the leading banking backdoors.

Adding to the severity of the situation, 19 of the involved malware families have been updated with new capabilities. These updates include the presentation of the Automated Transfer System, a Telephone-based Attack Delivery system, and screen sharing. The evolution of these malwares points towards a more sophisticated approach to cyber threats, along with the newly emerged trend of offering malware-as-a-service trojans.

Zimperium’s Chief Scientist, Nico Chiaraviglio, stressed the increasing urgency of the scenario. Considering the growing risks posed by multiple threat actors, Chiaraviglio highlighted the pressing need for comprehensive, real-time, on-device mobile security, especially within banking and financial organizations. He emphasized that contemporary defenses require more sophistication to effectively combat these intelligent adversaries.

This surge in cybercrimes against banking apps underlines the critical necessity of simultaneously updating and reinforcing cyber security measures, particularly for financial institutions. Without effective and updated security systems, these organizations become easy targets for sophisticated cybercriminals and face potentially significant financial losses and damaged reputations.

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