IT Brief Australia logo
Technology news for Australia's largest enterprises
Story image

Malicious Android apps targeting Malaysian bank customers

By Shannon Williams
Fri 8 Apr 2022

Researchers at cyber security firm ESET have analysed three malicious Android applications targeting customers of eight Malaysian banks.

To make a profit off customers who have increasingly turned to online shopping during the pandemic, cybercriminals are tricking these eager shoppers into downloading malicious applications, the company says. 

In an ongoing campaign, the threat actors are trying to steal banking credentials by using fake websites that pose as legitimate services, sometimes outright copying the original. These websites use similar domain names to the services they are impersonating.

"To make the already couch-friendly approach of online shopping even more convenient, people are increasingly using their smartphones to shop," says  says ESET researcher Luk tefanko, who analysed the malicious applications.

"Smartphone purchases make up the majority of online shopping orders most of them from vendor-specific applications," he says.

This campaign was first reported at the end of 2021, with the attackers impersonating the legitimate cleaning service Maid4u. Distributed through Facebook ads, the campaign tempted potential victims to download Android malware from a malicious website. In January 2022, MalwareHunterTeam identified three more malicious websites and Android trojans attributed to this campaign. Recently, ESET researchers found four additional fake websites. All seven websites impersonated services that are only available in Malaysia.

The copycat websites do not provide an option to shop directly through them. Instead, they include buttons that claim to download apps from Google Play. 

However, clicking these buttons does not actually lead to the Google Play store, but to servers under the threat actors control. To succeed, this attack requires the intended victims to enable the non-default Install unknown apps option on their devices. 

When the time comes to pay for the order, the victims are presented with payment options they can pay either by credit card or by transferring the required amount from their bank accounts. 

At the time this research was active, it was not possible to select the credit card payment option.

After picking the direct transfer option, victims are presented a fake FPX payment page and asked to choose their bank out of the eight Malaysian banks provided, and then enter their credentials. After the victims submit their banking credentials, they receive an error message informing them that the user ID or password they provided was invalid. 

At this point, the entered credentials have been sent to the malware operators. To make sure the threat actors can get into their victims bank accounts, the fake e-shop applications also forward all SMS messages received by the victim to the operators in case they contain Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) codes sent by the bank.

"While the campaign targets Malaysia exclusively for now, it might expand to other countries and banks later on," says tefanko.

" At this time, the attackers are after banking credentials, but they may also enable the theft of credit card information in the future," he says. 

"ESET Research has found the same malicious code in all three analysed applications, leading us to conclude that they can all be attributed to the same threat actor."

To protect yourself against this type of threat, first, try to ensure that you are using legitimate websites to shop:

  • Verify if the website is secure, i.e., its URL begins with https://. Some browsers might even refuse to open non-HTTPS websites and explicitly warn users or provide an option to enable HTTPS-only mode.
  • Be wary of clicking on ads and paid search engine results
  • Pay attention to the source of applications you are downloading. Make sure that you are actually redirected to the Google Play store.
  • Use software or hardware 2FA instead of SMS when possible and use mobile security solutions.
Related stories
Top stories
Story image
ABI Research
75% of 5G networks to advance to 5G-Advanced by 2030 
5G-advanced is set to launch in 2025, and 75% of 5G networks will upgrade by 2030, according to ABI Research. 
Story image
Digital Transformation
Munro Footwear Group chooses Boomi to assist with digitisation strategy
Munro Footwear Group (MFG) has selected Boomi to assist with its eCommerce and digital transformation roadmap goals.
Story image
Telecommunications
WiFi as a Service market to reach $26 billion through 2032
As a result of the easy management of wireless infrastructure over cloud services, WaaS is experiencing rapid growth.
Story image
Southern Cross Cable
Southern Cross Cable launches the SX NEXT cable to connect NZ to the world
The new Southern Cross NEXT fibre cable (SX NEXT) is set to connect Australasia to the US and further enhance connectivity between New Zealand, Australia, and the US.
Story image
Apple
Jamf introduces new content filtering solution for education providers
Jamf has announced the launch of Jamf Safe Internet, a new offering that looks to deliver a safe online experience to students while offering better management options for admins.
Story image
Document Management
NZ's FileInvite raises $10M in latest investment round
FileInvite has raised $10 million in Series A investment to fast-forward the extinction of email for requesting and collecting documents online.
Story image
Training
Barracuda customises training to fit ACSC Essential Eight
Barracuda has announced that its Security Awareness Training now provides a customised training curriculum in line with the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s (ACSC) Essential Eight.
Story image
Digital Fingerprint
Decline in counterfeit cherries after digital fingerprinting
Reid Fruits says there’s been a dramatic decline in counterfeit products for its cherries over the past three export seasons to Asia because of digital fingerprinting.
Story image
Payroll
How New South Wales state departments achieved cloud migration success
State departments in New South Wales are heading to the cloud to achieve better workflow solutions, and one company is paving the way for their success.
Story image
Adobe
Marketplacer and Adobe accelerate partnership for enhanced commerce solutions
Marketplacer has accelerated its partnership with Adobe in order to further enhance the global commerce marketplace.
Story image
Solutions
Progress launches latest version of network visibility solution
In Flowmon 12 network solution, Progress has expanded its support for public cloud provider flow log monitoring and launched new features.
Story image
IDTechEx
The next stage for 5G in thermal materials - IDTechEx
IDTechEx says higher frequency deployments, such as mmWave devices and very different station types such as small cells, present their own technological evolution and, with it, thermal challenges. 
Story image
Airwallex
How Airwallex helps businesses achieve globalisation success
As markets continue to shift, businesses need to be able to provide the same quality of service for customers regardless of where they are located around the world.
Story image
Cybersecurity
How organisations can mitigate IoT and IIoT security risks
IoT and IIoT come with inherent risks because they are often deployed faster than they can be secured, putting organisations in danger of cyber threats. Here are tips on how to mitigate those risks.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Siemens expands NVIDIA partnership for industrial metaverse
Siemens is expanding its partnership with NVIDIA to enable the industrial metaverse and increase the use of AI-driven digital twin technology.
Story image
Management
MYOB snaps up Sydney-based management software specialists
MYOB has announced the acquisition of Sydney-based business management software and support specialists, GT Business Solutions.
Story image
Cloud
BT builds on Equinix partnership with new cloud offering
BT has launched a next-generation cloud connectivity offering extending its global network into strategic carrier-neutral facilities (CNFs) and building on its existing partnership with Equinix.
Story image
Storage
EXCLUSIVE: Finding the best data center for your business needs with datacenterHawk
Companies using cloud are consistently looking for the best storage solutions to suit their enterprise needs and often have to go through rather complex processes in order to find the right fit.
Digital Transformation
Discover the 5 signs your business is ready for a cloud-based ERP. Is your business being left behind as more of your competitors switch to the cloud?
Link image
Story image
Data Protection
Five signs your business is ready to move to the cloud
Many organisations are thinking about moving to the cloud. But what are the signs you are ready, and what are the reasons to move?
Story image
Apple
Your tools, your choice: why allow employees to choose their own devices?
Jamf Australia says giving your team the freedom to work with their digital device of choice could help to attract and retain top talent in a tight labour market.
Story image
Document Management
Regaining digital trust and enhancing digitisation in Australian Government agencies
Having a digitised ecosystem of documents, tools and data can help bolster security, improve workflow and ultimately create better services.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Tech and data’s role in the changing face of compliance
Accenture's study found that 93% of respondents agree or strongly agree new technologies such as AI and cloud make compliance easier.
Story image
Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
LogRhythm updates SIEM Platform with latest innovations
LogRhythm has announced the launch of version 7.9 of the LogRhythm SIEM Platform and updates to LogRhythm NDR and LogRhythm UEBA.
Story image
Samsung
Monitors are an excellent incentive for getting employees back
The pandemic has taught us that hybrid working is a lot easier than we would’ve thought, so how can the office be made to feel as comfortable as home? The answer could be staring you in the face right now.
Project management
Discover the 4 crucial factors for choosing the right job-costing solution. Is your team struggling to cost jobs and keep projects running on budget?
Link image
PwC
PwC's Consulting Business and PwC's Indigenous Consulting are proud to play an important role in helping Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience build IMAGI-NATION, a free online university for marginalised communities around the world.
Link image
Productivity
Discover the 5 ways your ERP may be letting you down. Is your current system outdated, difficult to manage, and costing you a fortune?
Link image
Story image
Enterprise Resource Planning / ERP
Five ways your ERP is letting you down and why it's time for a change
Wiise explains while moving to a new system may seem daunting, the truth is that legacy systems could be holding your business back.
Story image
AGVs
Bridgestone Australia uses Dematic's AGVs to optimise warehouse operations
Bridgestone Australia has deployed Dematic's Automated Guided Vehicle solution across its new Melbourne warehouse in Truganina.
Story image
Metaverse
How the metaverse will change the future of the supply chain
The metaverse is set to significantly change the way we live and work, so what problems can it solve in supply chain management?
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Accenture shares the benefits of supply chain visibility
It's clear that gaining better visibility into the supply chain will help organisations avoid excess costs, inefficiencies, and complexity to ultimately improve their bottom line.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Without trust, your security team is dead in the water
The rise of cyberattacks has increased the need for sound security that works across any type of business, but with any change, buy-in is essential. Airwallex explains why.
Story image
Low-code
Appian unveils low-code certification program in Australia
Appian has announced a program to provide the next generation of low-code developers with access to education on the subject and certification to foster career opportunities.
Story image
SaaS
Ping Identity appoints Deloitte Australia as a partner
Ping Identity has appointed Deloitte Australia as a Consulting Technology Partner, uniting its offerings with the company's consulting services.
PwC
WSLHD and PwC’s Consulting Business came together to solve through the challenges of COVID-19. A model of care was developed to the NSW Health Agency for Clinical Innovation guidelines with new technology platforms and an entirely new workforce.
Link image
Story image
Capital
Rubber Monkey gears up for Aussie market with latest capital raise
Rubber Monkey is seeking to raise up to NZ$2.5 million of new capital through online investment platform, Snowball Effect.
Story image
CSG
To win at 5G, telcos must tame their quoting chaos
The catalogs of CSP (communication service providers) market offerings are set to explode as new digital services emerge, powered by B2B2X business models.
Story image
Media
Registrations for the W.Media Sydney Cloud and Datacenter Convention 2022 now open
Are you a C-Level executive looking to enhance your knowledge in the cloud and data center space in order to get the best results for your company?
Story image
Cybersecurity
Palo Alto Networks' cloud security platform receives IRAP assessment
"We provide help protect all forms of compute, cloud native services and access to data within public and private sectors."
Story image
Recruitment
Thales on recruitment hunt for next disruptive innovations
"Recruiting new talent is part of Thales's belief in the power of innovation and technological progress to build a safer, greener and more inclusive world."
Supply chain
Discover the 4 critical priorities for wholesale distribution businesses in FY23. Are you worried about how supply chain issues may affect your business in 2023?
Link image
Story image
Wiise
Four things wholesale distributors need to consider for FY2023
In a post-pandemic world, there are many things for a distribution business to juggle. ERP solutions company Wiise narrows down what companies should focus on.
Story image
Accounting
Four factors to consider when choosing the right job accounting solution
Progressive job-based businesses can achieve success by strengthening their ability to quantify every cost attributable to the delivery of an outcome for a customer.