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More BankBot apps sneak into Google store; UAE banks added to malware’s targets

The Google Play store once again has been invaded with apps carrying BankBot Android banking malware that uses fake overlay screens to fool banking app users into giving away their credentials. One such malicious was reportedly downloaded between 5,000 and 10,000 times before it and the others were removed by Google.

According to a blog post published today by Trend Micro, the latest variant of the mobile malware has added 10 apps from United Arab Emirates banks to its precedessors' target list. Altogether, the malware now impersonates 160 apps from banks in 27 different countries.

Of the five malicious apps Trend Micro researchers recently uncovered, five were found in the Google store disguised as utility apps. Two were removed immediately, but two others were downloaded by some users, the blog post continues.

Recently created and modified from leaked banking malware source code, BankBot is also capable of hijacking and intercepting SMS messages. Just last month, researchers from SfyLabs and Zscaler announced that they found BankBot smuggled into Google Play in the form of apps called Earn Real Money Gift cards and Bubble Shooter Wild Life.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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