According to a report published by Trak.in December 2020, the increased shift towards online and cloud based home-stations and offices, amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has raised phishing and fraudulent cyber-crime activities by a whopping 242%, compared to the same period in 2019.
Furthermore, about 330 crore attacks were made on Remote Desktop Protocols in the Jan-Nov period in 2020, with India recording 3.6 crore such cases during this period, up from 1.8 crore counts in 2019.
In the latest developments, cybersecurity researchers have identified about 167 counterfeit apps found on Playstore and Appstore, which are being used to conduct cyber crimes and fraudulent activities.
Investigation of 167 Fake Apps Lead to a Queer Discovery
On Monday, cybersecurity researchers at the British security software and hardware company Sophos discovered as many as 167 counterfeit apps on PlayStore and Appstore, which led them to an unusual conclusion.
On investigating these apps, the researchers found that they resembled a lot to financial trading, banking or blockchain based finance apps.
Their interface and in-app functionalities were created a lot like popular brands such as Barclays, Binance, TDBank, BitCoinHK etc.
Some of these counterfeit apps also had a ‘Chat Bot’ support, which responded identically to the ones by legitimate finance, trading, banking or blockchain based finance apps.
The cybersecurity researchers at Sophos also unraveled a single server loaded with these 167 fake trading and blockchain based finance apps. This indicates that all of these 167 counterfeit apps are handled by one single group/scammer.
Sophos found out about these fake apps while investigating a fraudulent mobile trading app that masqueraded as one tied to a well-known trading company in Asia, Goldenway Group, states IBT.
CyberAttackers Now Using Dating Apps to Trick You
With increasing awareness of cybercrime and security among the general public, phishers and hackers are continually coming up with different sophisticated and innovative means of hacking and conducting brute force attacks.
Sophos’ investigation reports that the fraudsters behind these counterfeit apps target and reach their baits through popular dating platforms.
One such cybercrime victim falling prey to this scam, as narrated by Sophos says, “The fake applications we uncovered impersonate popular and trusted financial apps from all over the world, while the dating site sting begins with a friendly exchange of messages to build trust before the target is asked to install a fake app. Such tactics make the fraud seem very believable.”
The scammers set up a profile on dating platforms, befriend the target and then lure them into installing apps and adding money and cryptocurrency to a fake app. If this target later tries to withdraw their money, the fraudsters block their access.
“To avoid falling prey to such malicious apps, users should only install apps from trusted sources such as Google Play and Apple’s app store,” advises Sophos.