As more and more Americans have switched over to online banking due to the quarantine, the FBI warned that hackers are now targeting mobile banking apps attempting to steal money.
In a public service announcement, the FBI alerted the public that it expects to see bad actors “exploit” mobile banking platforms, which have seen a 50 percent surge in use since the beginning of the pandemic.
“With city, state, and local governments urging or mandating social distancing, Americans have become more willing to use mobile banking as an alternative to physically visiting branch locations,” the agency wrote. “The FBI expects cyber actors to attempt to exploit new mobile banking customers using a variety of techniques, including app-based banking trojans and fake banking apps.”
The FBI urged specific caution to the threat of banking trojans, which consist of a malicious virus hiding on a user’s mobile device until a legitimate banking app is downloaded. Once the real app is on the device, the banking trojan then overlays the app, tricking the user into clicking on it and inputting their banking login credentials.
Fraudulent banking apps are another scam, with users in danger of being tricked into downloading malicious apps that hijack personal banking information.
The FBI recommended that Americans only download banking apps from official app stores or from banking websites and that banking app users enable two-factor authentication on their accounts and use strong passwords.
“If you encounter an app that appears suspicious, exercise caution and contact that financial institution,” the FBI emphasized. “Major financial institutions may ask for a banking PIN number, but will never ask for your username and password over the phone.”
This Public Service Announcement is just one more warning the FBI has warned of during the COVID-19 pandemic, as hackers have capitalized on efforts to target remote workers and and an icrease in online traffic.
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