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Lessons Learned from Mobile Attacks in the Middle East

A recent malware attack targeting bank customers in the Middle East offers some tips on how such attacks can be prevented.

Attention on cyber security has skyrocketed since the end of last year thanks to the data breaches that hit several of the nation’s biggest retailers. But in other parts of the world cyber security has been a hot topic for much longer. Ever since the famous Stuxnet virus was used to damage Iran’s nuclear program, the Middle East has been a hotbed of cyber attacks conducted by a range of different players. The Syrian Electronic Army, for instance, has waged a cyber campaign of targeted DDoS attacks and hacks in support of Bashar al-Assad’s brutal war against rebels in Syria.

While these politically motivated actions against nation-states have grabbed headlines, banks and businesses in the Middle East have also been at risk. In one recent example, several Mid-East banks were hit a couple weeks ago by a malicious botnet that infected Android mobile devices disguised as a banking app.

While these kinds of mobile attacks are not as widely known in the States yet, it’s reasonable to expect that they will become more prevalent here as more online activity shifts to mobile. That means banks will need to start educating consumers about being more cautious and skeptical in the mobile app stores, says John Zurawski, VP of Authentify, a security and authentication solutions provider. “Mobile security will be much like online security. If you don’t know where it’s from, don’t click on it,” he points out.

Read the full story on Bank Systems & Technology Jonathan Camhi has been an associate editor with Bank Systems & Technology since 2012. He previously worked as a freelance journalist in New York City covering politics, health and immigration, and has a master's degree from the City University of New York's Graduate School ... View Full Bio

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