Navigating the murky waters of Android banking malware

An interview with ESET malware researcher Lukáš Štefanko about Android banking malware, the topic of his latest white paper.

Banking malware continued to plague the Android platform throughout 2018, with cybercrooks relentlessly targeting users with banking Trojans and fake banking apps, but also experimenting with new money-stealing techniques.

To help users navigate the tricky and expanding landscape of Android threats, Lukáš Štefanko, a malware researcher at ESET, sheds light on the most prevalent types, tactics and techniques of today’s Android banking malware in his white paper, “Android banking malware: Sophisticated Trojans vs. Fake banking apps”.

We sat down with Lukáš and asked him a few questions about his latest publication.
What made you focus on this topic in such detail?

I deal almost daily with malicious apps going after Android users’ banking credentials. They use many different tricks, techniques and distribution methods, but can ultimately be divided into two broad groups – as the title of the white paper suggests. The distinction might not be so clear to regular Android users, so I wanted to address that.
So, sophisticated banking Trojans and fake banking apps. Why is it important for a regular user to be familiar with the difference?

If users know what they’re up against, I believe they have a better chance of staying safe. The two categories might seek the same goal – stealing credentials for, or money from, their victims’ bank accounts – but their strategies for achieving that goal are very different. And that means that the ways to prevent or remove threats will also be different for each category.

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