Rogue Mobile App Fraud Soars 191% in 2019
Global fraud attacks soared by 63% from the second half of 2018 to the first six months of this year, with fake mobile applications a growing source of malicious activity, according to RSA Security.
The firm’s Quarterly Fraud Report for Q2 2019 is a useful snapshot of current trends based on detections by the vendor.
Phishing, including vishing and smishing, continues to be the biggest source of fraud — representing over a third (37%) of attacks in Q2, with attacks climbing 6% from 2H 2018 to 1H 2019.
Canada, Spain and India were the top three countries targeted by phishing, accounting for 61% of total attack volume.
However, it is attacks via rogue mobile applications that present the fastest-growing threat, soaring 191% over the same period. These attacks, which involve the spoofing of brands to trick users, now account for 29% of the total.
Elsewhere, there were also significant increases in detections of financial malware (up 80%) and social media attacks (37%).
In the e-commerce space, RSA noted that 57% of fraud transaction value in Q2 2019 came from a new device but trusted account. In online banking 88% of payment fraud attempts originated from the same combination: trusted account and new device. That is a significant increase from Q1 figures of just 20%.
This highlights the continuing popularity of account takeovers as a highly successful threat vector, RSA said.
Daniel Cohen, director of the Fraud and Risk Intelligence Unit at RSA Security, argued that digital transformation is introducing new risks that organizations must manage.
“From one-click payment buttons to mobile apps from our favorite retailers, spending our money has never been easier. However, while the growth of digital might be good for our busy schedules, it has also opened up numerous new avenues for fraudsters,” he added.
“The fact that fraud via fake mobile applications tripled in the first half of 2019 is testament to how perpetrators will constantly seek out weak points by exploiting consumers’ growing trust in mobile apps.”
Banks need to layer up protection, while consumers must play their part by understanding the tell-tale signs of phishing and taking time out to verify application publishers before downloading, Cohen advised.
Source: Information Security Magazine