Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The cyber threat to mobile banking

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Internal Security


Source: The Hindu

Context:  Global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky warns of an increase in cyberattacks on Android and iOS devices in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region


Status of Mobile banking in India:

      • 26% of Indian adultshave a digital bank account and that figure is expected to hit 39% by 2023 and 46% by the year 2027.
      • According to a 2020 Statista survey across 25 States in India, two-thirds of respondents said they had a smartphone.



Mobile banking Trojans are dangerous malware that can steal money from mobile users’ bank accounts by disguising the malicious application as a legitimate app to lure unsuspecting people into installing the malware.

      • A Trojan is a malicious code or software that looks legitimate but can take control of your device, including smartphones.
      • The perpetrators infect the device through legitimate-looking and high-ranking malicious apps on Google Play, smishing (phishing messages sent through SMS)


Examples of threats:

      • Anubis mobile banking trojan virus: It has been targeting Android users since 2017.
      • Roaming Mantis is another prolific malware targeting mobile banking users.
      • BianLian Malware


Issues in regulation:

      • The lack of adequate cybersecurity and the dearth of talent in banking (technology, engineering, data and security experts) could potentially lead to a further rise in cyberattacks on user devices.
      • Interoperability compounds problems: Countries are trying to make payments from one platform to other interoperable:
        • China, for instance, has ordered its internet companies to offer their rival firms link and payment services on their platforms.
        • India, a new law demands all licensed mobile payment platforms to be capable of providing interoperability between wallets.


Conclusion and way forward:

It helps to be careful and extremely cautious when using a mobile device to make payments. Apart from the usual digital hygiene practices like keeping the phone up-to-date and rebooting regularly, consumers can ensure they use their phones for banking only when the device is connected to a secure VPN. iOS 16 users can turn on the Lockdown Mode as it limits the device’s functionality and protects it from any potential malware.


Insta Links

Cyber security


Mains Links

Q. Cyber security is a very important topic for Mains. Do have a ready-made note prepared on various aspects, issues, and solutions related to it.


Prelims Link

The terms ‘WannaCry, Petya and Eternal Blue’ sometimes mentioned in the news recently are related to (2018)

(a) Exoplanets

(b) Cryptocurrency

(c) Cyber attacks

(d) Mini satellites

Answer: C

In India, it is legally mandatory for which of the following to report on cyber security incidents? (2017)

      1. Service providers
      2. Data centres
      3. Body corporate

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 2 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: D