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David H. Lipman

FBI PSA: Increased Use of Mobile Banking Apps Could Lead to Exploitation

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Increased Use of Mobile Banking Apps Could Lead to Exploitation

"As the public increases its use of mobile banking apps, partially due to increased time at home, the FBI anticipates cyber actors will exploit these platforms.

Americans are increasingly using their mobile devices to conduct banking activities such as cashing checks and transferring funds. US financial technology providers estimate more than 75 percent of Americans used mobile banking in some form in 2019.

Studies of US financial data indicate a 50 percent surge in mobile banking since the beginning of 2020. Additionally, studies indicate 36 percent of Americans plan to use mobile tools to conduct banking activities, and 20 percent plan to visit branch locations less often. With city, state, and local governments urging or mandating social distancing, Americans have become more willing to use mobile banking as an alternative to physically visiting branch locations. The FBI expects cyber actors to attempt to exploit new mobile banking customers using a variety of techniques, including app-based banking trojans and fake banking apps."

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1 hour ago, David H. Lipman said:

Americans are increasingly using their mobile devices to conduct banking activities such as cashing checks and transferring funds. US financial technology providers estimate more than 75 percent of Americans used mobile banking in some form in 2019.

 

I'm with @exile360 I have never done any online banking using my Smartphone and have no intention of doing so. Just having one and using for basic use is dangerous enough in today's world of digital abuse

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, AdvancedSetup said:

I'm with @exile360 I have never done any online banking using my Smartphone and have no intention of doing so. Just having one and using for basic use is dangerous enough in today's world of digital abuse

 

That's why I still have an old 'dumb' flip phone.  It doesn't hold much of a charge, and every time I get a 'new' old stock battery for it (since they're no longer produced of course, because proprietary and planned obsolescence haven't been rightly made illegal yet and the phone industry is the opposite of the PC market when it comes to setting and adopting standards :P) and I will no doubt be forced to upgrade downgrade to a 'smart' device of some kind.  Sadly, even modern 'dumb' feature phones include the same far too powerful ARM CPUs and PC level wireless networking components along with the usual Bluetooth and other tools/protocols and risk factors inherent in such devices, so unfortunately there are no modern 'safe' mobile phones when it comes to privacy/security, at least as far as I can tell.  They all run the same general purpose mobile operating systems (Android or iOS and the now defunct Windows Mobile) rather than the proprietary and often device/model specific operating systems/software phones like mine use, which are far less likely to even be targeted, much less compromised by anyone with ill intent.  In fact, without the 'convenience' of biometrics like fingerprint readers, facial recognition, GPS and other glorious enhancements which have made the modern smart phone the absolute perfect device for mass surveillance as well as targeted attacks, data theft, violation of privacy (including recording audio, video, location, inputs/text/touches, along with all the data from apps like web browsers), my phone is quite dated, but also vastly more secure than any of the phones that have been released over the past several years, if only because of the technology and capabilities it doesn't have.

It seems that these days, it is much easier to get more than I want from a phone, but at the cost of any sense of privacy and security.  It's become an industry of handheld computers, and worse, each contains a built in GPS tracker, microphone, at least 1 high resolution camera and much more, and people willingly carry these device around with them everywhere they go, and they conduct countless activities on the devices themselves, especially if the device is used for any sort of social networking activities and the like (not to mention online banking/purchases as well as local transactions via electronic pay systems).  It provides a perfect tool for anyone hoping to scam, steal from, or harm you.  They can know your location at all times, and often what you are doing, and if you keep any sort of schedule/appointment calendar on the device, they can even plan a future robbery of your home because you've provided them with a convenient schedule of dates and times you are guaranteed not to be there (this is why they warn people about talking about vacation plans and the like on social media).

Unfortunately, just as with my extremely reluctant adoption of Windows 10, I too will eventually be forced to get a modern 'smart' phone.  I don't want it.  I have no use for the vast majority of capabilities it will no doubt include.  Heck, I don't even need a phone that is capable of going online at all (and my current one doesn't) but it doesn't matter.  I'll have a mobile computer just to make the occasional text or phone call.  It will sit on a table by its charger 99% of the time except for the rare occasion that I receive a call from someone I know (I have the ringtones configured so that it only actually rings if a number from my contacts list is calling; otherwise the phone will light up, but it won't make a sound; it's brilliant for dealing with scam calls and advertisers) or I decide to send someone a text.  Many people use their phones almost constantly, but I have my PC for that.  The phone has no advantage for me since I spend the vast majority of my time at home.  I have no social life so I don't need any 'always on', 'always online', 'always connected' devices in my world, nor do I need the headache of knowing full well that I and the person I'm talking to may not be the only ones listening to our conversations so I typically avoid using them, but I'm obviously not the target demographic for most phone providers ;).

Edited by exile360

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Read and digested -  @exile360, I fall in the same class. TBO to upgrade. 🤣

But a good article for the younger generation.

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Hehe, yeah.  It's a basic thing, and something that I believe a lot of people do without giving it a thought, not necessarily being aware of all the risks of such activities.  Given how easy it is to use a credit card virtually anywhere online these days, they make very attractive targets for the bad guys.

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