New malware scam targets Aussie mobile banking apps

Font Size:

Sophisticated malware that can steal passwords and bypass two-factor authentication is currently targeting users of Australian mobile banking apps.

The virus specifically infects Android phones, with customers of the big four banks, Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, Westpac and the National Bank of Australia, the main targets. However, BankWest, Bendigo Bank, St George Bank, Bank of New Zealand, Wells Fargo and Kiwibank are also among those considered vulnerable.

The malware, discovered by antivirus pioneers ESET, presents victims with a fake login screen that they actually access via their legitimate banking application.

Customers are then asked to enter their passwords, after which the malware creators steal customer details and the money from their accounts remotely.

The thieves can also intercept two-factor authentication, which would usually protect customers from these types of scams.

“This allows SMS-based two-factor authentication of fraudulent transactions to be bypassed, without raising the suspicions of the device’s owner,” said ESET researcher Lukas Stefanko. “The attack has been massive and it can be easily refocused to any other set of target banks.”

The malware spreads through an imitation Flash Player app, which would most likely have been downloaded by an unwitting customer from an untrustworthy source.

“It’s an ongoing problem with Android devices, because of the open source nature of the platform … There’s been a number of malware aimed at banking apps,” said cyber security expert Matthew Warren.

Apple users can only download apps from the Apple Store, whereas Android users can download them from anywhere.

Mr Warren suggest that Android users should install antivirus or malware protection software, especially if they’re using their device to access banking details.

If you think you are infected by the malware, you can remove it from the device by going to Settings > Security > Device administrators > Flash Player > Deactivate.

You can then uninstall the offending Flash Player app.

Have you been affected by this malware? How did you find out?

Read more at Business Insider

Join YourLifeChoices today
and get this free eBook!

By joining YourLifeChoices you consent that you have read and agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy


SMS scam: ACMA issues warning over sophisticated bank scam

Mobile phone users are being warned of a highly sophisticated SMS phishing scam.

Six scams to watch out for in 2016

Keep an eye out for the latest scams to stay safe.

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



Total Comments: 10
  1. 0

    I never do my banking from my mobile phone, thats really asking for trouble

    • 0

      bubby, I have to disagree, we have been using Net Bank since about 2000 and not a single problem. If you use it properly it is fool proof. We pay our bills and top up our $500 Visa Card etc, etc. By going in daily we have the latest info, instead of waiting 3 or 4 weeks for a statement to find something wrong. Yes the $500 Visa means others cannot steal $1000s and if we want to use it for something costing 2 or 3 thousand we just top it up with Net-Bank.
      Life is a breeze.

  2. 0

    Does this threat apply to users of Android tablets?
    Now I’m scared to open up or do any banking online.
    Is AVG good enough?

    • 0

      in a word YES it does apply to tablets. AVG is ok but you probably want to look at the paid for version not just the free version. And always make sure you open sites in a safe/secure mode. Look for the https:// in the url with a padlock symbol if transacting. And never use public wifi for financial transactions either.

    • 0

      Thanks, KSS. You’re a pal.

  3. 0

    Went to the bank this ‘arvo’ and they weren’t aware of any scam ….. !!!

  4. 0

    Time to go back to cash….??

  5. 0

    never use my mobile for banking. too risky

  6. 0

    The ‘Stay Smart” website run by the federal government rates this scam as “High Priority Alert”
    [email protected]

  7. 0

    It actually hurts and bring tears to my eyes when I read comments of scammed victims ripped off by BINARY OPTIONS AND FAKE HACKERS. I know actually know how it feels and hurts to lose money you have worked half of your life for to invest with the thoughts of getting returns when you are retired. It was all a scam in the end.

    STOP BEING SCAMMED BY THESE BINARY OPTIONS AND FAKE HACKERS. The Cybersecurity has had enough of complains from clients over the months who has one way or the other being a victim of the BINARY OPTION OR RECOVERY SCAMS or any desired Hacking Services. I’m willing to put an end to these unbearable swindle scheme taking over the internet and taking a step forward to render solution to those affected and help them get every penny they lost. Hack Ethics is an experienced Private Hacking and Certified Binary Recovery Expert Organization with a spare master key that no one has. Service takes just within 48 hours. Hire an Ethical Hacking Expert who’s professional and real. Specialized in any desired Hacking Services. CONTACT EMAIL OR SKYPE – [email protected]. Website –



continue reading


What we know about the recently approved single dose vaccine

Some health experts have expressed concern at the efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine, with some stating that we 'only get...

Retirement Income

'Secret plan' to force retirees to use their home to fund retirement

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has backed the Retirement Income Review findings that retirees should use their savings more "efficiently" -...


Do life insurance payouts affect the Age Pension?

Geoff's death policy pays out to his children, not his wife. How does this affect the pension? Q. GeoffMy wife...


Grip strength linked to mental disorders

Mental disorders such as anxiety and depression can increase physical health risks and are a leading cause of disability. Globally,...


Cucumber and Pineapple Salad

Whether it's for a barbecue, taco, burger or chilli con carne, our Cucumber and Pineapple Salad will pep up your...


Tobacco and childcare drive cost of living increase

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.9 per cent in the December quarter. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics...

Age Pension

Retirement system ‘uncertain for almost all retirees’

Australia, a nation of almost four million retirees, has one of the world's best retirement systems. The 2020 Mercer CFA...


The big question: How much do I need to retire?

Life expectancies continue to rise, and with that comes a host of challenges. For governments, there's the increasing cost to...