THE BANK OF THAILAND said it is not true cash has been stolen from mobile bank accounts while the handsets were being charged with suspect USB cables with this having occurred by loading applications packed with malware, Matichon newspaper said today (Jan. 18).
The Central Bank had asked the Thai Bankers Association to investigate claims by some victims that money was taken from their mobile bank accounts through “juice jacking” which happens when unsuspecting users plug their electronic devices into USB ports or use USB cables that have been loaded with malware.
However investigation showed that scammers had tricked the victims to install fake apps full of malware and then controlled their mobile phone remotely and emptied their bank accounts.
The Central Bank has issued various measures for the Digital Economy and Society Ministry, National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, Anti-Money Laundering Office and the police to follow to prevent such crimes.
These include requiring them to continuously improve mobile banking security systems; block fraudulent websites and disconnect computers criminals use remotely in scamming; crack down on sending fake messages in the name of financial institutions; provide convenient online channels for victims to report such crimes and mount public relations drive on this criminal activity.
The public was told to follow these steps to protect themselves:
– Do not open Line messages and emails from unknown or unreliable parties;
– Only download programmes from controlled and secured official outlets such as Play Store or App Store;
– Always update mobile banking apps or set it to update automatically which will prevent fraudsters from taking control of them remotely;
– Do not use unsafe mobile phones to conduct financial transactions, such as devices unlocked (jailbreak/root ) to be able to install any app or use an outdated operating system. Rooting is the process of gaining privileged control over, or root access to, various Android systems. Jailbreak is a technique that enables the user to bypass limitations on an Apple device.
– Cooperate with relevant agencies in providing accurate information in order to follow up and solve problems quickly.
Top: Close up of charging a mobile phone. Photo: Rawpixel Ltd (CC BY 2.0)
Front Page: Woman using a smartphone and drinking coffee. Photo: Nenad Stojkovic (CC BY 2.0)