With increased adoption of the mobile phone as the preferred medium for conducting retail banking transaction is the increase sophistication of illicit appli
cation targeted at defrauding unsuspecting customers. Called Trojans, these illicit apps can be used to harvest customer data, and ultimately takeover the customer account.
Latest in trail of Trojan targeted at Mobile Banking community is the malware code names Red Alert 2.0 banking Trojan. Feeds from the threat community reveals this new Android Trojan is potently dangerous as it is able harvest both mobile bank authentication as well Second Factor (2FA) credentials.
Besides credential harvest, Red Alert Trojan have consistently upgraded its functionality to be able to block and log all incoming calls from the customer banks. As such the Trojan can intercept calls from fraud unit of financial institutions aimed alerting the customer of suspicious activity.
Unsuspecting users could have their phones infected with Red Alert Trojan by downloading apps via third-party app stores or links sent via SMS messages, WhatsApp or emails.
Once installed, the malware waits for the victim to perform some Mobile Banking Transaction in a bid to simulate the victim’s Mobile Banking app interface. Once the Banking app interface has been mimicked the Trojan could potentially overlays the original app with a fake user interface. This fake user interface could be used to harvest user credential and forward the Red Alert Trojan service on the World Wide Web. The customer 2FA is also at jeopardy as the Trojan could intercept SMS messages sent to the customers.
In summary if a customer phone is hijacked by the Red Alert Trojan, hackers can covertly takeover account to make illicit purchases, transfer funds, and profile the Banking history of the customer!
The Red Alert 2.0 work on Android phones running version 6.0 (Marshmallow) and earlier. In a bid to avoid this Trojan and other associated threat, retail banking mobile app users are strongly advised to download app from approved download store.