In the shadow of the new iPhone release, one can question why would anyone be willing to pay $1000 for a mobile phone?
The truth is that for many people around the world, the mobile phone has become the primary connected electronic device. Always on, always within arm’s reach, and being relied on for an ever-increasing number of functions. From phone calls, to messenger apps, to verifying identity, making payments, conducting banking, making videos, taking photographs, or even as a flashlight… the list goes on.
Apple recognises the demand and need, and bearing all the functionality in mind, at $1000 dollars, that doesn’t sound like such a bad investment.
Criminals have also seen this trend and therefore malware like BankBot is becoming ever-increasingly popular. We see newer techniques being deployed in this latest variant and they tshould raise concerns for app store operators like Google. While Google already does a good job of screening most malicious apps, the increasing sophistication of mobile malware could mean app stores need to increase the level of testing to dig deeper into app functionality. They also need to collaborate more closely with security researchers, so that, like in this case, vulnerabilities and malicious app details can be shared quickly and pulled from stores.
According to a blog post by Trend Micro on Wednesday (13 September), the latest variant of the mobile malware has been targeting legitimate apps from banks based in 27 countries, including 10 from financial institutions in the United Arab Emirates. So far, BankBot has targeted 160 apps, researchers said. "Recently we found five new Bankbot apps, four of which made their way into the Google Play Store disguised as utility apps," Trend Micro said. "Two of these were removed immediately, while the other two were made available long enough to be downloaded by a few users."