Fake mobile app fraud triples in the first half of 2019, researchers find

Fake application fraud seems to be hitting hard at the market with a 191% increase in hits in the first half of 2019.

A global fraud report by RSA’s Fraud and Risk Intelligence unit has found that fraudsters are now using the names and brands of well-known to commit cybercrimes.

The total number of global attacks is 63% higher in the last six months as compared to the end of 2018. The attacks have risen from 86,344 to a whopping 140,334.

E-commerce payment frauds have been originating from so-called trusted accounts with one new account bringing up the statistic from 20% to 80% by itself. The use of old adapted versions of the Ramnit Banking Trojan is helping these accounts avoid detection. They are being distributed by executable files that the unknowing user opens.

The Director of Fraud and Risk Intelligence Unit at RSA Security, Daniel Cohen, says that this transformation of finance is a double-edged sword. With new opportunities to improve the consumer experience come new opportunities to defraud them as well. The number of digital touchpoints that can that with to access financial services is increasing dramatically through open banking.

The fact that fake mobile applications have doubled in number in 2019 shoes that fraudsters will find a way to go through the chink in the armor. They have found a way to exploit a user’s trust in a brand and their goodwill and defraud them while they interact with such brands. Banks require layered approaches and proactive management of fraud to combat this. Cohen believes that consumers need to become more aware and proactive as well by avoiding links in text messages from unknown senders. We also need to track our bank purchases as fraudsters will begin with making small purchases before larger transactions.

And as far as fake mobile applications go, care must be taken to download from trusted publishers only and monitoring what permissions are being granted to the app.

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