Posted on June 14, 2022 at 4:21 AM
Google Play Store has been targeted once again by malicious actors. A recent report by Zimperium offered some alarming insights into financial apps on Google Play. The report said that over a billion app downloads are targeted by a Trojan Horse virus.
Applications on Google Play Store have been targeted by numerous attacks in the past. The platform has security measures that scan applications to guarantee they are free of security breaches. However, these security measures have been breached in the past.
Financial apps targeted by a Trojan Horse malware
Trojan Horse viruses have been used in numerous instances to filter through the set security frameworks and ensure they can infiltrate user devices to steal sensitive data. Some financial applications targeted in the recent attack include cryptocurrency, mobile banking, investment, and payments.
The applications are among the most popular ones in the market. The campaign targets those apps that are being used frequently, allowing the attackers to have a vast user base that they can target.
The team involved in this research delineated the trojan virus that caused the most significant damage. This trojan was named Teabot. The trojan malware targeted some of the largest financial applications. The research team estimated that 410 applications have been targeted by this malware.
The other dominant trojan being used to target these apps is ExobotCompact, which has 324 apps. The team also ranked the apps that were most targeted by the malware. The BBVA Banking App from Spain was the most targeted by the ExobotCompact malware.
The BBVA Banking app received over 10 million downloads. The application has been targeted by six of the ten leading trojan malware affiliated with these banking applications.
The report further showed the areas where the malware was more focused on. It showed that cryptocurrency, gold, investments, and mobile payments accounted for the apps most targeted by the malware. These apps have become very popular in the modern-day financial world. The download figures for these apps have hit 200 million.
Trojan Horse spooks financial markets
The research report has spooked the financial markets. Digital finance has become popular over the past few years, but its popularity has also presented security challenges to users and companies.
The research report has urged the digital banking and finance sector to be cautious and install security measures to prevent further attacks. The banking and finance sector services suffered a major blow because of these coordinated attacks done through the malware.
Given the large number of people turning towards digital financial platforms, these attacks have increased the targeted group. Many people and institutions now have their assets at risk if these attacks persist. However, the big question remains about how strong security measures can be adopted.
A recent report has also shown that sensitive user credentials are prone to attacks. The functioning of this malware shows that credentials can be easily targeted by those who want to run illegal dealings. Moreover, once these credentials are stolen, they can be used to conduct illegal activities. Some of the stolen credentials have a high level of precision that can be used to steal funds from the users directly.
The modern financial world has people yearning for convenience. This is the top reason why people are moving towards online banking services, but this rising demand has also made the sector vulnerable to attacks. Trojans and criminals have been going for the digital investments and finance platforms to tap into the massive user base.
The report also analyzed the countries that were more affected than others. However, these attacks were not targeted to any specific region, as no country was left unscathed.
The US was one of the worst affected countries, with 121 financial applications falling victim to the Trojan Horse malware. In the United Kingdom, 55 financial applications were targeted, while 43 were targeted in Italy. The targeting of these regions shows that this was where there was a significant rise in the use of these financial apps.
The expert teams at Zimperium ran studies on a thousand daily applications. The collected data was analyzed using modern technology and comprehensive models. The recent attack on Google Play Store could prompt these financial apps to be more cautious of the security frameworks, while users can conduct better research before using these apps and exposing their data.