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
$121.30
Apple Inc.
-1.07
GOOG
$625.61
Google Inc.
-6.98
MSFT
$46.70
Microsoft Corporation
-0.18
MacNews Search:
Community Search:
view counter

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

Pac-Man Championship Edition DX has brou...
Bandai Namco has released Pac-Man Championship Edition DX on iOS and Android, which features the classic arcade gameplay that we've all grown to love. Pac-Man Championship Edition DX can be enjoyed in much shorter bursts than the arcade versions but the gameplay remains intact. [Read more] | Read more »
Cosmonautica (Games)
Cosmonautica 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: Cast off! Are you ready for some hilarious adventures in outer space? | Read more »
Rescue humanity from a Demon horde in An...
Angel Stone is Fincon's follow up to the massively successful Hello Hero and is out now on iOS and Android. You play as a member of The Resistance, a group of mighty human warriors who have risen up in defiance of the Demon horde threatening to wipe out humanity. [Read more] | Read more »
Gallery Doctor (Photography)
Gallery Doctor 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Photography Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Free up valuable iCloud and iPhone storage with Gallery Doctor, the only iPhone cleaner that automatically identifies the unwanted photos on your device.What can Gallery Doctor do you for you? | Read more »
You Against Me (Games)
You Against Me 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A simple game… You. Me. Claim, steal, lock, score, win! | Read more »
Yep, it's True - Angry Birds 2 is O...
The not exactly rumors were true and the birds are back. Angry Birds 2 has come to the App Store and the world will... well I suppose it'll still be the same, but now we have more bird-flinging options! [Read more] | Read more »
You Could Design Your Own Card for Chain...
If you've ever wanted to create your own item, weapon, trap, or even monster for Chainsaw Warrior: Lords of the Night, this is your chance. Auroch Digital is currently holding a contest so that fans can fight to the death (not really) to see which design will make the cut (no pun intended). [Read more] | Read more »
Bitcoin Billionaire is Going Back in Tim...
If you thought you managed to buy everything there is to buy in Bitcoin Billionaire and make all the money, well you though wrong. Those of you who made it far enough might remember investing in time travel - and it looks like that investment is finally going to accomplish something. [Read more] | Read more »
Domino Drop (Games)
Domino Drop 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Domino Drop is a delightful new puzzle game with dominos and gravity!Learn how to play it in a minute, master it day by day.Your mind will be challenged.Your soul will be calmed.Features:- 3 unique game modes- 12 pleasant music... | Read more »
OPERATION DRACULA (Games)
OPERATION DRACULA 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $5.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: 25% off launch sale!!!'Could prove to be one of the most accurate representations of the Japanese bullet hell shmup outside of Japan' - Touch Arcade'Massive screen-sized bosses who spew more bullets than you can count.'-... | Read more »
All contents are Copyright 1984-2010 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.