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How Fake Apps Steal Data of Customers

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Recently, fake apps of several banks in India is reported to have stolen the data of thousands of bank customers. Read on to know more about it…

The adoption of digital banking has been frantically increasing in India and so have instances of fraud. The latest threat to come to light is the presence of fake banking apps on the Google Play store that may have compromised the data of nearly 160,000 people, global IT security company Sophos Labs said. According to the report — in the last few months, the bogus apps of several Indian leading banks made their way to the Google Play store.

According to a report by IT security firm Sophos Labs, fake apps of leading banks in India may have stolen data of thousands of customers in India. The fake Android apps, available on Google Play, target total seven banks such as SBI, ICICI, Axis, Indian Overseas, BoB, Yes Bank and Citi Bank, the report said. According to the report, these fake android apps have the logo of respective banks which makes it difficult for customers to differentiate between the fake and original apps. This may have compromised data from customers of 25 other banks, too, claims Sophos. The report adds that the deceptive malware in these apps may have stolen thousands of customers’ account and credit card details.

Some banks have started an inquiry and also informed the CERT-In — the national nodal agency for responding to computer security incident. Yes Bank said it has informed the bank’s cyber fraud department about the matter.

Modus Operandi
According to the report, these fake android apps lure customers by promising rewards, including cash back on purchases, free mobile data or interest-free loans on downloading and using their applications. Some even claimed to provide a too-good-to-be-true service, enabling users to withdraw cash from an ATM and have it delivered to their doorstep. People fall in the trap as these fake apps have the logo of respective banks which makes it difficult for customers to differentiate between the fake and original apps, the report stated. Most of these fake apps were a close copy of the real banking apps or electronic wallets, and tried to mimic the names or graphic design of existing apps.

“Deceptive malware may have stolen thousands of Indian sub-continent bank customers account data or credit card numbers,” Pankaj Kohli, threat researcher, SophosLabs, said. “Some are blatant copies of real apps, while a few are much more dangerous as they seed malware and steal data from user accounts,” the SophosLabs report said. The report adds that fake apps are not new to Android and this sort of malware will continue to find its way into the app store.

“Some are blatant copies of real apps, while a few are much more dangerous as they seed malware and steal data from user accounts. Users should always use antivirus software, which provides malware protection and internet security to keep users protected and stop these fake apps from stealing data,” it said.

According to the report, bank customers should always use antivirus software, which provides malware protection and internet security to keep users protected and stop these fake apps from stealing data.

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