Hackers Using Mobile Phone Malware to Steal Banking Information

August 29, 2016, Written By Bill Hardekopf
Security concept: smartphone with text Malware on display. Mobile smart phone on White background, cell phone 3d render

Hackers are now using mobile phone malware to steal bank login information, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal. Cyberthieves are employing programs like Acecard and GM Bot to target mobile banking apps and subsequently steal money from consumers.

It is difficult to pinpoint how much money has been taken as a result of mobile phone malware since the hackers can use the information they collect through other access points. They don’t have to use the stolen data on a mobile phone. They can log into a person’s bank account through a computer and complete transactions that way, with far more encryption to cover their tracks.

Law enforcement officials and cybersecurity experts have found these attacks on Apple and Android devices. The FBI says the attacks primarily target large banks, but some industry experts believe Acecard alone has been used to “imitate 50 financial-services apps.”

Each malware program is a little different, but most of them are installed on a phone through a text message or advertisement on a website. From there, the program remains unnoticed until the person opens a banking app. The malware creates an overlay that hackers can use to track a user’s movements on the phone, which in turn gives them the ability to copy login credentials and other important information related to the account.

Consumers should keep an eye on their financial accounts and report unauthorized charges as quickly as possible. If you believe you have been the victim of mobile phone malware, contact your financial institution immediately.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of August 29, 2016. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.