Cybercriminals are now targeting mobile banking in the Philippines and Southeast Asia to steal money as the lingering pandemic forces people to pay online.
Mobile banking Trojan attacks in the region increased 60% in Q2 2021 compared to the same period last year, according to the latest report on mobile threats from global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky.
Cybercriminals use mobile banking Trojans to siphon funds directly from their victims’ mobile bank accounts.
These malicious programs look like legitimate financial apps. But when a victim enters their security credentials to access their bank account, cybercriminals gain access to their private information.
In the Philippines alone, Kaspersky detected and blocked 37 mobile banking Trojan attacks among its users during the first half of the year.
This was 6% more than the full year 2020 with 35 attempts.
Overall, since the start of 2021, Kaspersky has foiled 708 incidents in six SEA countries.
This already represents half of the number of attacks blocked in 2020, which stood at 1,408.
Indonesia and Vietnam recorded the highest number of incidents in the first half of the year.
However, Vietnam is only 27th and Indonesia is 31st in the global list of countries affected by the threat.
The five countries with the highest number of mobile banking Trojan attacks are Russia, Japan, Turkey, Germany and France.
While the number of mobile banking Trojan attacks in SEA remains low, 367 incidents from April to June 2021 compared to 230 detections during the same period last year, the persistent pandemic is forcing users to switch to systems. mobile payment.
“We are almost in the second year of the pandemic which has accelerated the adoption of mobile payment in the region at breakneck speed,” said Yeo Siang Tiong, Kaspersky’s general manager for Southeast Asia.
“At the start of this health crisis, our survey has already shown that the majority of Internet users here have moved financial-related activities online, such as shopping (64%) and banking (47%),” he said. he noted.
The same survey found that seven in ten people (69%) are concerned about conducting financial transactions online.
Additionally, 42% of those surveyed admitted that they were afraid that someone would access their financial information through their devices.
Another report from Kaspersky, “Making Sense of Our Place in the Digital Reputation Economy,” showed that the majority (76%) of SEA’s 861 respondents keep their money-related data out of the way. ‘Internet.
Sentiment was highest among Baby Boomers (85%), followed by Generation X (81%) and Generation Y (75%).
“Obviously, there is an awareness of the threats present when we conduct banking and payment transactions through our mobile phones,” observed Yeo. “But there is always a gap between knowing and acting on it.”
To strengthen the security of your money online, Kaspersky suggests several precautions, including obtaining a temporary credit card.
As another level of security for safe online shopping, one can use a temporary credit card to make online purchases, instead of his regular credit card.
Remember to avoid using these types of credit cards for any purchase that requires automatic renewal or regular payments.
If a temporary credit card is not possible, an alternative is to use a credit card with a low credit limit.
You can also dedicate a computer to banking and online shopping.
If you have more than one computer, it may be a good idea to dedicate one only to banking and online shopping.
Avoiding using the computer for any other Internet browsing, downloading, checking e-mail, social networking and other online activities effectively creates a “clean” computer that is completely free of computer viruses and other infections.
For added security and safe online shopping, install Google Chrome, with forced HTTPS. This ensures that you only visit secure websites.
Additionally, use a dedicated email address.
Create an email address to be used exclusively for online purchases to limit the amount of spam messages received and reduce the risk of opening potentially malicious emails disguised as sales promotions or other notifications.
Using strong passwords and a different password for each online account is also vital for secure online shopping.
Use a password manager to help you maintain strong passwords for multiple accounts.
If one has to buy online using public Wi-Fi, first install a VPN (virtual private network).
A VPN will encrypt all data transferred between their computer or mobile device and the VPN server, preventing hackers from hijacking and viewing sensitive data.
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