Dozens of Australian banks caught in global malware wave

Malware targeted 1,800 banking applications around the world last year, report reveals

Dozens of Australian banks caught in global malware wave

Cyber criminals have intensified their efforts to target banks using a new suite of malware specifically designed to exploit mobile phones and drain individuals of their savings, according to a report by The Australian.

According to Texas-based cybersecurity firm Zimperium, 34 Australian banks have fallen victim to this wave of malicious software, commonly known as "trojans," highlighting the growing sophistication of online crime syndicates.

Zimperium published its annual Mobile Banking Heist Report on Friday, revealing that 29 distinct malware families had targeted a staggering 1,800 banking applications across 61 countries in the previous year alone. Although the report did not disclose the names of the Australian banks affected, it emphasised the banks' ability to fend off tens of millions of cyber attacks daily, The Australian reported.

Zimperium's chief scientist, Nico Chiaraviglio, shed light on the evolving nature of these trojans, stating that they continually adapt to bypass security measures and evade detection on mobile devices. With cyber criminals investing more resources into these attacks, traditional security practices are struggling to keep pace with the ever-increasing threat landscape.

“Mobile banking security is currently in a high-stakes scenario, with numerous threat actors posing substantial risks,” Chiaraviglio told The Australian. “This report shows the sophistication, adaptability and scalability of banking trojans and their widespread impact on mobile applications across the globe … they are finding ways to bypass traditional defences, which is why it is critical that banking and financial organisations employ comprehensive, real-time, on-device mobile security to combat these intelligent adversaries.”

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Zimperium recently introduced Australia's first defence shield against mobile device threats, The Australian reported. This move aligns with the federal government's seven-year cybersecurity strategy, unveiled in November, which aims to address major obstacles preventing businesses from reporting malicious intrusions and ransomware attacks orchestrated by both state-sponsored actors and criminal organisations.

As the landscape of cyber threats continues to evolve, financial institutions are urged to prioritise mobile security measures in order to safeguard their customers' financial well-being, The Australian reported.

Cybersecurity is also a top concern for the real estate sector. Mortgage aggregator Connective recently reported that it had seen a 50% spike in cyber attacks on its brokers and clients over the past year.

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