India is one of the regions where digital finance has really taken off over the past few years. Most consumers rely on banking applications to access financial services. Unfortunately, it turns out a lot of Indian banking apps come with a growing assortment of malware, which puts consumers at risk of data theft and the exposure of sensitive financial data. This malware affects seven of the country’s largest banks, among others.

Malware-Laden Indian Banking Apps

It is never good to learn popular mobile applications are laden with malware. That train of thought only gets worse once people realize the malware is found within mobile banking applications. For anyone living in India, the threat has become very real, especially if one is a customer of one of the nation’s largest banks.

To be more specific, it appears these bank applications have been infected with identity-stealing malware. The problem was first discovered by security researchers at FireEye, who feel this is a deliberate plan of action by sophisticated cyber criminals. By deploying these malware-laden apps, the criminals aim to defraud consumers and banks alike.

Keeping in mind how the Indian government has been aggressively pushing for more digital payment solutions, it is not unlikely more applications containing malware will start making the rounds. All of the issues discovered by FireEye researchers show that anyone using these particular applications faces the distinct possibility of having their information stolen and funds siphoned. Thankfully, the researchers have contacted all affected banks to solve these problems once and for all.

It appears two distinct types of malware have been identified as part of the scheme. Webinjects is a type of malware capable of altering information displayed on a mobile device screen. Bugat, on the other hand, is designed to swipe user data and spreads itself through phishing campaigns. Both types of malware target users of the seven major Indian banks, although it is possible smaller banks may be affected as well.

It is evident the Asia Pacific region is a hotbed for banking malware. Considering how a lot of countries in the region are focusing on digital finance right now, it is seemingly only a matter of time until more malware attacks take place. Moreover, the top three countries in the region are home to nearly one in four global banking malware threats.

Mobile users always need to be careful when accessing financial services. It is easy for everyone to see criminals are targeting mobile financial services as of right now and it is doubtful that trend will change anytime soon. Anyone living in India may want to take notice of the growing malware trend and ensure they are extra vigilant while using applications granting access to major banks. It is unclear if funds have been stolen so far, albeit it seems safe to assume so.

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