Mobile payments expansion spawning criminal undergound

Mobile payments expansion spawning criminal undergound

The Anti-Phishing Working Group is calling for a global, co-ordinated response to the threat posed by mobile malware and an emerging underground criminal marketplace lured by an expansion in m-payments and banking.

In the coming years, global mobile payments are predicted to exceed $1.3 trillion presenting a 'motherlode' of opportunity for cybercrime gangs who are attracted to the inherent vulnerabilities in the mobile device marketplace says the APWG.

APWG mobile fraud research coordinator Jart Armin says: "On one hand we can see just one example of a major European bank that in early 2012 had 100,000 mobile banking users, and by April 2013, 4 million. In contrast, there were around 50 generally known samples of mobile malware in 2010, rising in 2013 to some 30,000 samples."

The Group has issued a whitepaper that defines these malware markets and demonstrates the modus operandi of an emerging underground economy.
Types of malware and attack methods under analysis include: spyware, phishing direct attacks, Trojans, worms, apps delivered through malware, pocket botnets and blended attacks, many of which are designed to steal or pilfer money from users.

Download the full paper:

Download the document now 2.4 mb (PDF File)

Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 16 May, 2013, 12:46Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

It's good to see that the industry is finally learning to spell "security"...

Pat Carroll
Pat Carroll - ValidSoft - London 24 May, 2013, 13:23Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

It’s worrying to see the latest news from APWG that there are now around 30,000 samples of mobile malware known to be in existence. Particularly more so when you consider that nearly 1 in 2 consumers fail to protect their mobile phones with even the lowest level of security – a password*. When you consider these statistics with the high level of personal data we store on our Smartphones one can start understand the high level of personal risk.

Cybercrime is sharply on the rise and security measures aren’t necessarily keeping up, leading us to ask, ‘who’s responsibility is it to secure transactions on Smartphones – the bank, the payment provider, the app provider, the telco or the individual?’ The fact is that collaboration is needed between all interested and affected parties. They need to work together to consider how security can be implemented in a holistic and seamless manner. It’s something which will take time, but consumer power can help here as a powerful catalyst for change.


*Stats taken from GSO May 2013