McAfee cybersecurity report: Mobile banking apps are exposing us to cyber attacks

Clara Guibourg
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Hackers are exploiting weak security in mobile apps (Source: Getty)

Badly designed mobile apps are quickly becoming one of the biggest leaks exposing our personal data to cyber crooks, according to fresh security research from McAfee showing that threats are now being detected at the rate of five per second.

Hackers are exploiting the weak security coding practice used in many mobile apps, and this is soaring up as a growing cyber threat, the IT security firm has found in its quarterly report on what types of malware are proving the biggest threat.

Mobile banking apps are highlighted as a risk, with McAfee warning that the apps risk exposing user data, from credit card details to phone numbers.

Read more: Do you remember 2015's worst cyber attacks?

To prove the point, McAfee researchers analysed two mobile banking Trojans. Over the period, they successfully managed to steal and use the credit card information from over 13,000 customers, intercepting 170,000 text messages:

User data can be exposed if app developers fail to follow the back-end providers’ security coding guidelines—a possibility that is now more likely based on the increasing amount of personal and professional business conducted in the mobile cloud.

The report also found that the number of threats detected worldwide has hit a level of 327 per minute - or five threats every second.

Cyber attacks are a growing concern for businesses and government alike, and both have been scrambling to ramp up their efforts to combat the threat.

Chancellor George Osborne announced in the Autumn Statement that cybersecurity spend would effectively be doubled over the next five years, with an extra £1.9bn devoted to combating cyber attacks.

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