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  • eth = $3 164.11 - 343.12 (-9.78 %)

  • ton = $6.28 -0.85 (-11.92 %)

13 Jun, 2023
2 min time to read

The Middle East, Turkey, and Africa (META) region has been ranked among the top three regions in the world with high vulnerability to mobile financial scams, according to the latest data.

Throughout 2022 and the first quarter of 2023, 14% of potentially unwanted mobile financial apps on Android phones were installed by users in the META region, ranking it behind APAC and LATAM rigions in terms of app installs. As Android holds a dominant market share in this region, cyberthreats targeting the mobile operating system remain persistent, urging experts to monitor the threat landscape closely.

Some mobile financial apps in META offer seemingly legitimate microcredit services, but have been found to engage in fraud and collect personal data from users' smartphones. These apps demand access to text messages, contacts, and media files before granting credit.

In cases where users fall behind on repayments, app operators can resort to blackmail and use the data collected to coerce users into repaying the debt. For instance, personal information and images from the user's gallery may be shared with their contacts to highlight their debt. Igor Golovin, Malware Analyst at Kaspersky, comments:

The threat landscape evolves, and mobile financial cyberthreats become more sophisticated and pervasive. While downloading smartphone apps from official app stores is less risky than obtaining them from elsewhere, apps can still request the user to give access to different types of personal data that could then be misused.

To safeguard against mobile threats, Kaspersky provides the following recommendations:

  1. Download apps only from official stores like Apple App Store, Google Play, or Amazon Appstore, as they undergo some level of moderation and filtration.
  2. Review user feedback and ratings for apps to identify any negative feedback or potential issues.
  3. Carefully assess app permissions, particularly high-risk permissions such as Accessibility Services.
  4. Install a reliable security solution that can detect malicious apps and adware before they compromise your device. Consider partnering with mobile operators who offer cybersecurity services.
  5. Keep your operating system and apps up to date to address potential security vulnerabilities.

Kaspersky urges the mobile industry to prioritize cybersecurity at all levels and calls for enhanced security measures and specialized cybersecurity services for users.