Android: this malware can intercept calls to your bank’s customer service
A new Android malware seeks to empty the bank account of its victims. To achieve its ends, the virus intercepts calls to a bank’s customer service department.
Kaspersky computer security researchers have discovered traces of new malware targeting Android smartphones, FakeCalls. Currently, the virus targets users who reside in South Korea.
To infect the phone of its victims, FakeCalls impersonates the official app of a popular South Korean bank, including KB (Kookmin Bank) and KakaoBank. The malware takes up the interface and operation of banking applications in detail to deceive users.
Also read: A fake customer service phone wants to trick you into installing Android malware
This malware allows hackers to impersonate a bank’s customer service department
“The Trojan immediately asks for a whole host of permissions after installation, including access to contacts, microphone and camera, geolocation, call management”explains Kaspersky in its survey.
Once installed, the virus is capable ofintercept all calls to bank customer service. When Internet users realize that the downloaded banking application does not work, they are indeed inclined to make a call to the helpline of their bank.
The malware will instantly cut off the communication and relay the call to a phone number owned by the hackers. FakeCalls then displays a fake call screen, which makes the victim think that he is communicating with his bank employee.
In some cases, hackers then interact directly with their target. In others, the virus plays pre-recorded messages mimicking real customer service, like “our call center is currently receiving an exceptionally high volume of calls. A consultant will speak to you as soon as possible”.
On the phone, hackers can then obtain sensitive information, such as your username, password or bank details (credit card number). This valuable data is used to break into the victim’s bank account.
According to Kaspersky, the malware also allows hackers to make incoming calls posing as bank customer service. Again, FakeCalls displays a fake call screen, which uses the official customer support number.
Beware of Abusive Android Permissions
As always, we advise you to be wary of applications that claim an astonishing amount of Android permissions for no apparent reason. “These permissions allow the malware to not only spy on the user, but also control their device, giving the Trojan the ability to drop incoming calls and delete them from the history. This allows scammers, among other things, to block and hide real calls to banks”explains Kaspersky.
To protect yourself, the firm specializing in computer security advises you to confine yourself to the applications available on the Play Store, to deny permissions that seem excessive and never communicate sensitive information over the phone. Finally, Kasperky recommends installing an antivirus on your Android smartphone.