Global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky said its 2021 Second Quarter (Q2) Mobile Threat Report for Southeast Asia (SEA) found a 60% increase in attacks using Trojans malicious mobile banking detected and blocked in the region.
Mobile banking Trojans, also known as “bankers”, are malware created for smartphones and used by cybercriminals to steal funds directly from mobile users’ bank accounts.
In a statement, the company said that these malicious programs generally look like legitimate financial apps, but when unsuspecting victims enter their security credentials in an attempt to gain access to their bank accounts, attackers gain access to that information. private.
“Since the start of 2021, Kaspersky has said its products have foiled 708 incidents in six countries in Southeast Asia. The company reached 50% of the total number of stranded mobile bankers in 2020 at 1,408.
“Indonesia and Vietnam experienced the highest number of incidents in the first half of the year. However, Vietnam and Indonesia were not among the top 10 countries affected by this threat. Vietnam and Indonesia were only ranked 27th and 31st respectively in June this year.
“The five countries with the highest number of mobile banking Trojan horse detections in the second quarter of 2021 are Russia, Japan, Turkey, Germany and France,” the statement said.
According to the statement, while the number of mobile banking Trojan attacks in SEA remains low, there has been an increase with 367 incidents from April to June 2021 compared to 230 detections during the same period last year. , because the pandemic is forcing users to start using mobile payment. systems.
“We are almost in the second year of the pandemic which has accelerated the adoption of mobile payments in the region at breakneck speed. At the start of this health crisis, our survey already showed that the majority of internet users here moved their finance-related activities online, such as shopping (64%) and banking (47%), said Yeo Siang Tiong, Managing Director of Kaspersky Southeast Asia.
In the survey, Yeo found that seven in ten people (69%) were worried about making financial transactions online and 42% of those surveyed admitted to being afraid that someone would access their financial information through their devices. .
According to Kaspersky, another report titled “Making Sense of Our Place in the Digital Reputation Economy” found the majority of SEA’s 861 respondents (76%) confirmed their intention to keep their data tied to money. away from the Internet. Sentiment is 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. But there is always a gap between knowing and acting on it. So, to help SEA users harness the power of their smartphone and protect their finances, we suggest some practical tips but also encourage everyone to consider using security solutions as a safety net in case they need to. accidentally clicked on a malicious link or downloaded a red mobile banking application, ”added Yeo.
The statement provided some useful and practical tips for online financial security:
Get a temporary credit card
Use a temporary credit card to shop online, instead of the regular credit card. In this way, it will limit the risk of card users, as hackers will only have access to this temporary single-use card number during the online purchase process, but ordinary card information is not exposed. because they were not used for online purchase. If a temporary credit card is not possible, an alternative is to use a credit card with a low credit limit.
Dedicate a computer for banking and online shopping.
For added security and safe online shopping, install Google Chrome with forced HTTPS. This ensures that only secure websites can be visited safely.
Use a dedicated email address
Create an email address for online purchases only. This will significantly limit the amount of spam messages received and significantly reduce the risk of opening potentially malicious emails disguised as sales promotions or other notifications.
Manage and protect the password online
Use unique and complex passwords and use a different password for each online account for secure online shopping to prevent hackers from accessing multiple accounts using the same login information.
Install a virtual private network (VPN)
A VPN will encrypt all data transferred between the computer or mobile device and the VPN server, preventing hackers from hijacking and viewing sensitive input data.