As Internet banking becomes popular, cybercriminals are coming up with new ways to access people’s bank accounts. In this article, we will expose all the techniques these bad actors use to break into bank accounts and how to protect yourself.
Mobile Banking Trojans
Most banks have launched banking apps to allow their customers to manage their finances straight from their smartphones. However, while this move provides much-needed convenience, hackers are now creating fake banking applications in an effort to access the bank accounts of their victims. These replica apps are known as mobile banking trojans.
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When you install a mobile banking trojan, the app scans your smartphone to identify installed banking apps. After detecting those apps, the mobile banking trojan will always pop up whenever you launch a banking app, asking you to enter your login details. And since the malware can access your text messages, it’s able to steal SMS verification codes sent to your phone number by banks, giving hackers access to your account.
How to Protect Yourself From a Mobile Banking Trojan
When downloading a banking app from the Play Store or App Store, always check the number of downloads. If the app claims to be of a big bank, yet it has a small number of downloads, then there is a huge chance it is malware. Therefore, you should avoid downloading it.
Additionally, avoid giving apps permissions on your phone if they don’t explain why they need the access.
Finally, do not download banking applications from third-party websites, as they could be mobile banking trojans.
Some cybercriminals hack the email addresses of big companies and then send phishing emails to their customers. These innocent clients are requested to give certain information regarding their bank accounts, and because the email is from a trusted company, they share the data without being suspicious.
How to Protect Yourself From Phishing Attacks
Even if an email address looks legit, it is not advisable to share the login details of your bank account. Also, do not click on links directing you to a third-party website.
There are malicious apps that record everything you type on your internet-connected device and then send the details to the hacker. These apps are known as keyloggers. So, for example, if you visit your bank’s website and type your bank details, the keyloggers will transfer the information to the cybercriminal, allowing them to access your finances.
How to Protect Yourself From Keyloggers
Download and install an effective antivirus and regularly scan your device to ensure the keyloggers are detected and erased.
In addition, enable two-factor authentication on your bank app to make the keyloggers less effective.
This attack happens when a hacker accesses the communication between you and your bank via an insecure server. This means when you provide your bank account’s login information, the cybercriminal is able to steal it.
How to Protect Yourself From Man-in-the-Middle Attack
Where possible, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). This service ensures the bank details you share online are encrypted, thus blocking hackers from accessing it.
Moreover, avoid using public WiFi when you want to send sensitive bank details to your bank’s website.
Accessing SMS authentication codes used to be a massive challenge for cybercriminals. Unfortunately, not anymore. SIM swapping allows them to get those codes without needing your phone. But what is a SIM swap? It is a trick involving a hacker convincing your network provider that you lost your smartphone and that you’d want your current phone number to be transferred to a new SIM card, which belongs to the hacker.
If your network provider approves the transfer, all SMS authentication codes will be sent to the hacker’s SIM card, and this will allow them to access your bank account.
How to Protect Yourself From SIM Swapping
Hackers use your personal details to convince network providers to approve a SIM swap. Therefore, keeping your personal information private is vital to block hackers from stealing your identity.