Fake mobile apps pose serious security threat

Muscat, Feb 13 – Mobile users in Oman have been urged to exercise caution while downloading third party mobile applications.
According to details revealed by Oman Data Park, which offers cyber security services in the country, there were 237 cases in the last 12 months in which fake mobile apps were used to impersonate organizations, a 30 per cent increase from last year.
These apps impersonate local banks in today’s era where conventional bank branches have given way to mobile banking. Using fake registration forms, the cyber criminals steal credit card details and other login credentials.
Of late, there have been several instances of bank customers in Oman reporting withdrawal of money from their accounts.
“Commonly, people receive calls from unknown numbers seeking personal details. These victims lose money from accounts irrespective of whether they share details or not,” said a senior IT official of a leading bank in Oman.
According to Oman Data Park, there has been an instance of 97,000 bugs attacking a local bank.
Other top attacks on Omani organizations include DDoS attacks (40 per cent), fake mobile attacks (30 per cent), locally issued credit/debit card credentials (100 per cent), malware (50 per cent) and social media impersonation (150 per cent).
A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is a malicious attempt to disrupt normal traffic of a targeted server or network with a flood of Internet traffic. Exploited machines could include computers and networked resources such as IoT (Internet of Things) devices.
According to a report from Cloudfare, a DDoS attack is like a traffic jam clogging up highway, preventing regular traffic from reaching its destination.
IT experts said with the improvement in Internet speeds and faster broadband with the advent of 5G, cyberattacks, including phishing, can get intense and serious.