Via press release from the FBI:
The FBI advises the public to be cautious when downloading apps on smartphones and tablets, as some could be concealing malicious intent.
Cyber actors target banking information using banking trojans, which are malicious programs that disguise themselves as other apps, such as games or tools.
When the user launches a legitimate banking app, it triggers the previously downloaded trojan that has been lying dormant on their device. The trojan creates a false version of the bank’s login page and overlays it on top of the legitimate app.
Once the user enters their credentials into the false login page, the trojan passes the user to the real banking app login page so they do not realize they have been compromised.
Actors also create fraudulent apps designed to impersonate the real apps of major financial institutions, with the intent of tricking users into entering their login credentials.
These apps provide an error message after the attempted login and will use smartphone permission requests to obtain and bypass security codes texted to users.
US security research organizations report that in 2018, nearly 65,000 fake apps were detected on major app stores, making this one of the fastest growing sectors of smartphone-based fraud.
Read the full warning.