Digitization has changed our lifestyle.  It has become much easy to check our bank details, bank statements, transfer money and many more things through respective apps of banks. We have an option to download these apps from Android or iPhone Play Store. We just see the logos of the banks or just it’s name and download and provide all the bank details inside such apps. We don’t even try to identify if the app is genuine (official/authorized by the bank) or not.  

According to an IT security firm Sophos Labs, these fake android apps have logo of banks which makes it difficult to differentiate between the fake and original apps. According to a report by Sophos Labs, an IT security firm, customers of at least 7 banks, SBI, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, BoB, Yes Bank and Citi Bank might have lost their data from their mobile phones through these apps. These apps are available on the Google Android Play Store and resemble the banks’ original apps and customers might have been lured into downloading and installing these apps by offering some freebies. Some of these apps carried malwares that were capable of stealing other information that the users might have stored in their phones, like credit cards and other details.

“Deceptive malware may have stolen thousands of Indian sub-continent bank customers account data or credit card numbers,” said Pankaj Kohli, threat researcher, SophosLabs. 

For a long time now, cybersecurity experts have been worrying about the grave issue of rogue apps being the part of the Android Play Store. Certain steps taken by Google recently will ensure that app developers do not easily be granted permission like they earlier were, but it will probably still take a long time to completely stop scamsters from finding their way into the Android Play Store.

What you should do?

  1.  Always go to the official website of the bank to download the authorised app of the bank.
  2. Don’t fall for the freebies provided by the apps resembling to the bank’s apps.

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