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AusCERT 2011: Mobile banking malware on the rise

Mobile OSes not as safe as they seem
Trusteer chief technology officer, Amit Klein

Trusteer chief technology officer, Amit Klein

Chief technology officer of Trusteer, Amit Klein, has spoken about the trends of mobile malware, citing mobile banking as the next big threat to the industry.

In the keynote session of the second day at the AusCERT conference on the Gold Coast, Klein said the financial and mobile malware began to increase during 2006, and has only become more prevalent in recent years.

“The financial malware for desktop started flourishing mid last decade around 2004 to 2005; we started seeing some earnest attempts at malware,” he said.

“We started seeing third generation malware as early as 2006 but market domination occurred around 2008.”

Klein identified a number of tricks used by those committing attacks on mobile devices, with botnets cited as one element behind attacks.

Check out our comprehensive AusCERT 2011 coverage

“Distributed command and control systems enable survivability and increases resistance to takeover attempts and ensuring there are many hosts out there to control the botnet,” he said.

“The botnet market has evolved from a one-stop shop into segments.”

Identifying a variety of myths associated with mobile banking malware, Klein said complacency by consumers is a dangerous trend that will only become worse once mobile banking increases in popularity.

“Sandboxing provides a malware free device, mobile apps are controlled, and there’s no money to steal in mobile apps are all myths will be proven wrong,” he said.

Citing Zeus attacks as one method that could be used to intercept Blackberry, Symbian and Windows Phone 7 devices, Klein said these attacks have been used to infiltrate banks in countries as varied as Spain, Poland and Germany, saying mobile devices will be even easier to infiltrate.

“Pay attention to how sophisticated and complex this attack is on behalf of the fraudster - what happens if or when mobile banking takes off? Then they will only have the mobile device to take care of.”

Klein's comments come as a US consultant said at AusCERT yesterday that a second Stuxnet worm will soon arrive.

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