Don’t move your wallet onto your phone yet
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Don’t move your wallet onto your phone yet

Mobile banking on Android phones could put consumers at risk of fraud and cost banks millions a year global IT security firm MWR InfoSecurity has warned.

MWR Labs, the research arm of MWR InfoSecurity, investigated the security standards of leading Android mobile phone brands to determine the overall exposure to risk of consumers who use mobile devices phones for online banking. Recent research has shown that Android is now the leading phone platform with over 50% market share, driving the development of mobile banking apps for the Android Environment. Results indicated that on some handsets as many as 64% of manufacturer added applications were exposing users to serious security issues.

"We found that while banking apps were generally well written and had very few security issues, the integrity of consumer phones was often compromised by software provided by the phone manufacturer or additional software added by the network provider, exposing online banking customers to potential fraud," Harry Grobbelaar, MWR’s managing director in South Africa, said. "Some of the leading Android handset manufacturers are already looking at shipping mobile devices with native near-field communication (NFC) payment functionalities but if the software in the phones is not secure, the risk will then be even higher."

More to the point, the increasing number of merchants moving to smartphone based Point of Sale (POS) devices, for example using Bluetooth or directly connected chip-and-pin accessories for iPhone or Android, indicates that mobile phones will become a critical element in the payment chain and if not adequately protected, they could introduce additional risks for card fraud that could cost banks millions a year.

The above findings were illustrated by the ruling on HTC by the Federal Trade Commission in the United States on Feb. 22 that required immediate action by HTC to address security weaknesses in the software developed for its mobile devices that allowed location tracking and the theft of personal information stored on users phones.

The MWR Labs looked at six classes of potential vulnerabilities in apps and packages in the leading brands and mobile phones using a modified version of Mercury, its security testing framework, to automatically scan the devices and identify security weaknesses.

The research discovered security vulnerabilities in software added by phone manufacturers or network providers which could be targeted by a malicious application inadvertently downloaded by the user. These weak apps often have more permissions that allow them to access contacts, make telephone calls and even record the content of those calls, meaning that the potential consequences are serious and sensitive data could be compromised. Other applications were found that allowed further apps to be installed with an arbitrary set of permissions, essentially leaving consumers fully exposed to fraud.

Grobbelaar adds: "The move by consumers away from PCs for online banking to mobile platforms will inevitably be followed by the criminal gangs who have been successfully targeting online banking for years. We have already seen many examples of malicious apps sending premium rate text messages and expect there will be a natural progression to higher value areas such as payments and banking."
MWR InfoSecurity supplies services which support clients in identifying, managing and mitigating their Information Security risks."
 

 
AAPL
$101.52
Apple Inc.
-0.27
GOOG
$592.49
Google Inc.
+3.22
MSFT
$46.95
Microsoft Corpora
+0.27
MacNews Search:
Community Search:

Latest Forum Discussions

See All
view counter

view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter

Age of Zombies Goes Update Crazy and Lau...
Age of Zombies Goes Update Crazy and Launches Zombie Month Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
MUJO Review
MUJO Review By Campbell Bird on September 19th, 2014 Our Rating: :: ASSEMBLE THE GODSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad This match-three game has collectible and role-playing elements that make it continually satisfying to play.   | Read more »
Project Life (Photography)
Project Life 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Photography Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Imagine scrapbooking without scissors or adhesive or tools … or without having to print photos! Never before has scrapbooking been so easy, so fast, or so available in the palm of your hand! The Project Life® App takes... | Read more »
Skater (Games)
Skater 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: All of Skateboarding In The Palm Of Your HandDesigned by skaters for skaters, we teamed up with 17 of the most prominent brands in skating to create the game every skater has been waiting for:Powerful And Intuitive Control | Read more »
Huerons (Games)
Huerons 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: EXCLUSIVE LAUNCH PRICE! Huerons is 50% off until September 20th!Huerons are tiny colored circles. Merge them by clicking on an empty cell next to them until only one Hueron remains on the board.There can be only one. -- Nominated for... | Read more »
Down Among the Dead Men (Games)
Down Among the Dead Men 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Avast! Take to the high seas in a fully interactive piratical tale of broadsides and buccaneers. From author Dave Morris and the studio behind Steve Jackson's Sorcery! and 80 Days. | Read more »
Sling Adds Chromecast Support Through Sl...
Sling Adds Chromecast Support Through Slingplaye​r Mobile Apps Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
How to Completely Delete Your iPhone’s C...
The iPhone 6 is out tomorrow, and plenty of people are excited about it. So much so that they’re planning to – or already have – traded in their old iPhone to go towards it. The thing about trading in hardware is it’s very important to make sure your personal information isn’t still on there once it leaves your hands. You generally have nothing to... | Read more »
Dragon Quest I Review
Dragon Quest I Review By Andrew Fisher on September 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: THINE QUEST AWAITETHUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Its historical significance aside, Dragon Quest 1 is a fun, campy, difficult, thoroughly old-school RPG.   | Read more »
It Came From Canada: Overkill 3
Overkill 3 is like every trope of big modern gaming rolled into one. It’s a sequel to an action-packed military shooter. It’s flashy and scripted and flaunts its sophisticated graphics. And it’s a mobile game with a heavy emphasis on in-app purchases. But does it still manage to forge its own identity within that sea of marketing points? We find... | Read more »
All contents are Copyright 1984-2010 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.