Mobile Malware: What You Need to Know


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Trojan horses, worms and viruses are the tools of choice for theft, fraud and other forms of malicious activity. These threats are on the rise and targeting mobile devices effectively. Most notably is the recent malware Svpeng, which specifically targets financial mobile applications and combines it with “ransomware” capabilities.

Svpeng “locks” mobile devices and requests a ransom to unlock it. Svpeng is “context aware” and checks for the following mobile banking apps (Bank of America, Citi Mobile, Amex Mobile, TD App, Chase Mobile, BB&T Mobile Banking, USAA, Wells Fargo and other U.S. bank apps) on mobile Android devices. When it detects one of these applications, it locks the device down, presents a phony FBI penalty notification and demands $200 in the form of Green Dot’s MoneyPak cards. Svpeng also captures and steals information entered on the device. It’s considered different from other ransomware because it locks the device down completely.

“If it happens to you, you can do almost nothing. The only hope for unlocking the device is to boot into ‘Safe Mode’ and erase all data on the phone only, [since] SIM and SD cards will stay untouched and uninfected.”1

What can you do to protect your mobile device?2

Mobile devices are just as susceptible to viruses and malware as desktops and laptops. Install and use mobile anti-virus software and browser protection tools.

  • Download apps only from trusted sources like the Apple® App Store or Google® Play. Beware of malicious applications.
  • Question links in emails and social media posts. Malicious links could direct you to websites or install harmful software to compromise your device.
  • If accessing the Internet through a public, unsecured or unfamiliar WiFi connection, avoid accessing sensitive services like banking and investment services on your device until you can access a trusted WiFi service.
  • Turn off unnecessary services such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and location apps when you’re not using them.
  • Secure your data and photos. Back up all important documents and photos to an external storage device, such as a cloud-based server, external hard drive or flash drive.

Your financial safety and security is important to us.

We offer several ways to help you monitor your account activity. You can set up a variety of alerts through Members 1st Online to notify you via email or text of activity on your account.

To set up or manage alerts on your account(s), log into Members 1st Online > Messages > Manage Alerts and follow the prompts. You can also set up custom alerts specific to your Members 1st VISA® Credit Card to notify you of account and transaction activity. If you’re logged into Members 1st Online, click on your VISA® Credit Card > See Your Current VISA® Activity > Alerts and follow the prompts.

Not using Members 1st Online yet? It’s easy and FREE! Go to https://myonline.members1st.org and click on “Enroll  Now.”

What should I do if I see suspicious charges on my account?

Please notify TeleBranch (Customer Service) immediately if you see any unauthorized activity on your account(s) at (800) 237-7288.

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1Source:  http://www.kaspersky.com/about/ news/virus/2014/

2Source: http://securityaffairs.co/wordpress/25771/malware/svpeng-android-ransomware.html

Guest Blogger: Patricia Brock, AVP/Information Security Officer (reprinted from the July/August 2014 edition of Avenues)

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