Hackers can steal bank logins due to a security weakness in Google’s Android OS

Users of the largest tech giant are not even safe due to the loopholes discovered in the Android OS. Recently, a spoofing bug was discovered in Android that can target bank accounts. One of the major loopholes discovered in the OS of Google can easily enable cyber-thieves to create specific apps that can steal to login details of different bank accounts and this discovery has been confirmed by the security firm as well.

With this bug, attackers can create fake login screens that can be used in some legitimate apps which can easily enable the cyber attackers to harvest data of users. According to the survey of the Play store, more than 60 financial institutions have already been a victim of this technique and according to Google, the tech giant is trying everything it can to stop the loophole and is eager to find out about the origin of this bug as well. According to the chief technology officer of Promon (a mobile security firm) this bug targeted several banks in multiple countries and it also successfully exploited so many end-users to steal money as well.

Draining of Bank accounts

The problem of this bug emerged when Promon analyzed multiple malicious apps that drained bank accounts. This lurking threat is called Strandhogg which can be used to manipulate the users into thinking that the app they’re using is legitimate but instead this vulnerability enables the attackers to trick users into clicking on overlay created by the cyber-thieves. The complexity of the operating system makes it very difficult to monitor all of the interactions it made and things can get lost in that complexity easily. To monitor the apps being abused the Strandhogg bug Promon worked with the security firm of the US to scan the apps in Android’s Play store. Promon found 60 separate financial institutions targeted via apps that were used to exploit the loophole in the Android software of Google. According to Lookout, criminals used a variant of some well-known malicious money-stealing apps known as bankbot. Google also appreciated the work of researchers who found potentially harmful apps and in response is continuing to investigate other malicious apps to improve Google Play Protect's ability to secure the users against similar issues. The response from Google was also welcomed by Promon and according to them so many apps were potentially exploitable through the spoofing bug and there is still a risk that fake overlay screens can be created in Android 10 and earlier versions of the operating system.

Bottom Line

Google’s Android software is somewhat always exploitable but we are hopeful that no matter whatever the scandals it gets involved in, the platform always attempts to bring more updates in order to avoid the hacks from exploiting more users than ever.

Photo: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

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