MOBILE banking users are encouraged to be more cautious with their transactions as global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky monitored a 60 percent uptick in the number of attacks using malicious mobile bankers detected and blocked in the Southeast Asia region (SEA).
Mobile banking Trojans or bankers are used by cybercriminals to steal funds directly from mobile bank accounts.
“We are almost at the second year of the pandemic which has fast-tracked the mobile payment adoption in the region at a breakneck speed. During the beginning of this health crisis, our survey already showed that the majority of internet users here have shifted finance-related activities online, like shopping (64 percent) and banking (47 percent),” Yeo Siang Tiong, general manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky, said in a statement.
In its second quarter 2021 report, Kaspersky revealed that in the Philippines, 37 mobile banking trojan attacks were blocked in the first two quarters of the year.
Last year, the firm blocked 35 mobile banking trojans.
“These malicious programs typically look like legitimate financial apps, but when a victim enters their security credentials to try to access their bank account, the attackers gain access to that private information,” Kaspersky warned.
Since the start of 2021, Kaspersky products have foiled 708 incidents across six countries in SEA.
This is already 50 percent of the total number of mobile bankers blocked in 2020 which was 1,408.
The five countries with the most number of mobile banking Trojan detections in the second quarter are Russia, Japan, Turkey, Germany and France.
Kaspersky advised that users can beef up their money’s safety online by getting a temporary credit card.
As another level of security for safe online shopping, one can use a temporary credit card to make online purchases, in lieu of their regular credit card.
Users can also dedicate a computer to online banking and shopping and use a “clean” computer that is totally free of computer viruses. Using strong passwords and using a different password for each online account is one of the most important things a user can do for safe online shopping.
If one must shop online while using public Wi-Fi, a user can first install a virtual private network. (JOB with PR)