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Malicious imitations use fake forms to fill in credit card data, and/or login credentials for user accounts.
Another group of forged banking applications discovered by “ESET” at the official “Google Play” store. These are said to-be applications from six banks in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Poland, and the Austrian Bitpanda cryptographic exchange.
The fake apps uploaded to “Google Play” in June 2018 and installed more than a thousand times before removed from “Google”. They appeared with different names of “developers” and “icons”, but the similarities between the codes indicate that there is only-one creator behind them. Some of these applications are based on the absence of an official mobile application (as in the case of “Bitpanda” ), while others are trying to trick users into officially “apps”.
How users can stay safe
ESET urges users -who suspect they have installed and use one of these malicious applications- to uninstall them immediately. It also recommends changing the “PIN” on credit cards, “Internet Banking” codes and checking bank accounts for suspicious activity. If there are unusual transactions, users should contact their bank. Regarding users of the “Bitpanda Exchange”, ESET advises to check their accounts for suspicious activity and to change their passwords.
In any case, to avoid the risk of a user from “phishing” campaigns and fake banking applications, ESET recommends:
- Trust only authentic “mobile banking” and related apps linked to the official website of the bank or the financial service you use.
- Only download apps from “Google Play”. This does not ensure that the application is not malicious, but applications such as these are much more common in third-party app stores and are rarely removed as soon as they are discovered; unlike “Google Play”.
- Check the number of installations, ratings, and reviews when downloading apps from “Google Play”.
- To enter sensitive information in online forms only if you are sure of their safety and legality.
- Keep your “Android” device up to date and use a reliable mobile security solution. The solutions from ESET detect and block these malicious applications as “Android/Spy.Banker.AIF”, “Android/Spy.Banker.AIE” and “Android/Spy.Banker.AIP”.
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