Online banking a sweet spot for cybercrime

Mobile device security remains the biggest threat to individuals and business, finds a new survey, while online banking also remains a sweet spot for cybercriminals.

A new report for the second quarter of 2013 published by Japanese security software company Trend Micro, found that cybercriminals are now embracing mobile malware use and are becoming more sophisticated.

“Our most recent threat report shows that cybercriminals have absolutely no regard for the privacy of Google Android smartphone and tablet users, as our Trend analysts tracked 718,000 separate instances of high-risk Android apps in the second quarter, up from 509,000 high-risk apps found in the first three months of this year,” stated Gregory Anderson, country manager at Trend Micro, South Africa.

“Based on these figures we estimate that the number of high-risk Android applications available on the market will exceed million by the end of 2013.”

The rise of the risks associated to Android devices is directly hinged around the discovery of OBAD malware and “master key” vulnerabilities that has enabled cybercriminals to find ways to exploit flaws in the Android ecosystem, the group said.

Online banking also remains a sweet spot for cybercriminals, with the threat report revealing that the online banking threat count increased by nearly a third compared to last quarter, mostly affecting users from United States, Brazil, Australia, and France, although South Africa also featured strongly in the report.

According to Anderson the report distinctly highlights that cybercriminals have also come up with more diverse attacks where they have specifically used various social engineering lures, single sign-on (SSO) and multiprotocol services, as well as blogging platforms.

It also shows that vulnerability disclosure also became a hot topic this quarter in response to the flurry of zero-day incidents at the beginning of the year.

“The report reveals that South Africa is the seventh most at risk to privacy exposure as a result of mobile app use, bringing home the fact that these threats are as big a risk to us here locally than they are to those abroad,” Anderson said.

While security solutions are available for mobile devices, there seems to be less of an urgency by end users and enterprises to adopt these, than say their PC counterparts, the security software firm said.

This can be evidenced in the fact that only three in ten devices in the US actually have any form of security application installed.

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Online banking a sweet spot for cybercrime