Cybersecurity Insight

Banking Apps Pose Cyber Security Risk

5 May

Google Play Store users confronted an unfortunate surprise when illegitimate banking applications were outed on the popular site. A cyber security risk doesn’t faze mobile device owners as they download an application from the online store of their choice (Apple, Google, and others) without a second thought. The consumer assumption is that each application is verified by the online store, and they need not worry about rogue attacks coming from their most recent download. Unfortunately this assumption is coming to bite those who use the Google Play Store; specifically, the banking apps that many have downloaded aren’t actually legitimate after all.

Surprisingly, the perpetrators behind the Android phone attacks aren’t aiming to infect millions of devices with malicious code or other software – once the user downloads the application, they are prompted to input their contact information. Consumer data is an extremely valuable commodity for both legitimate and illegitimate enterprises; if someone happens to be in a hurry and assumes an application is completely safe and secure, they would be none the wiser unless they took a closer look. Unfortunately, this isn’t new territory as Google ran into a more damaging situation – namely, a series of malware attacks that infiltrated Android phones through the Play Store – a few years ago. Because of the swift outcry, Google does daily scans for harmful malware on over 6 billion apps and 400 million devices.

To avoid these situations, something as simple as checking the URL associated with the application, or doing some quick research on the creator(s) can save people one major headache. These tips speak to the way that users should conduct themselves when using connected devices. It’s not about thinking every link or program is going to be infected, but rather to replace a defeatist attitude with education and an understanding that these challenges are out there. Cyber security risk education is key, and being able to apply it from your home to your office is invaluable.