Mobile banking consumers in Singapore warned of malware threat

Mobile banking consumers in Singapore warned of malware threat

Bank customers in Singapore have been warned of a rise in malware infections on Android phones that seek to hijack online passwords and one-time security codes.

The warning, from the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS), says the infections appear as a software update for Android smartphones, or as a service for updating WhatsApp.

In the latter, a pop-up advertisement encourages consumers to tap it and download a “new” version of the program or risk losing access to the service. After downloading the update, the application will prompt the customer to input confidential information, such as credit card details, which could then be used to commit fraud.

Smartphones that have been jailbroken or rooted are particularly susceptible to infection, says the ABS.

Ong-Ang Ai Boon, director of ABS, says that major retail banks in Singapore have seen an increase of mobile banking customers from 1.5 million in 2013 to 2.4 million in 2015.

“ABS would like to remind mobile banking customers that smartphones are as susceptible to malware as desktop computers or laptops," she says. "Consumers are reminded to download applications only from trusted sources."

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