Daily Dupaco

Monday, June 23, 2014

Mobile users become target of new malware

Mobile banking has remained virtually unscathed by cyber-attacks. That is, until recently.

Svpeng, a type of malware targeting mobile devices, has made its way to the United States, posing the first real threat to mobile banking users.Steve Ervolino on malware

“Until this point, there hadn’t been any serious mobile-attacking Trojans. But this one is well established, and it’s real,” says Steve Ervolino, senior vice president of information services at Dupaco. “It has the ability to capture banking information, and it can now actually lock your phone and ask for a ransom to unlock your phone.”
 
What it is
The malware, first detected last year, breaks into devices through links included in text messages. Once Svpeng is in a device, it looks for specific mobile baking apps from major financial institutions, including USAA, Citigroup, American Express, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, TD Bank, JPMorgan Chase, BB&T and Regions Bank, according to a story by American Banker.

“It currently is only targeting people that have major bank apps on their phone and is currently only targeting Android phones. But that’s sure to change,” Ervolino says. “Hackers are using it as a platform to develop new variants that can do more.”

Dupaco’s Shine Mobile Banking remains a safe, secure environment as long as your device isn’t malware-infected.
 
What you should do
The evolving malware now has the ability to lock the phone and demand money to unlock it. Personally, Ervolino says he would not pay the ransom.

“With the CryptoLocker virus, there were a lot of reports that even if you paid the money, they would not unlock your computer,” he says. “I wouldn’t trust that paying the ransom would get you anything.”

If your device becomes infected with the malware, take it to your mobile provider and ask them to reset your phone, Ervolino advises. That will restore your mobile device to its factory settings.

“You are certainly going to lose all data that’s on your phone when that happens,” Ervolino says. “But I don’t keep data on my phone that is indispensable to me. People should think about their phone as a convenient tool, not a place to keep important information.”

Beyond that, Ervolino advises to change the passwords on any accounts you’ve accessed from your phone. And monitor all of your financial accounts closely for suspicious activity.

Learn how to protect your mobile device and keep your personal information safe.


By Emily Kittle


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