Association of Banks in Singapore issues alert on malware targeting Android phone users

A woman browsing her mobile phone at the Budapest Stock Exchange on Nov 24.
A woman browsing her mobile phone at the Budapest Stock Exchange on Nov 24. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) is warning mobile phone users against a software update for WhatsApp, not initiated by the app maker, that is targeting mobile banking customers here.

Malicious malware hidden in the update has infected Android smartphones over the past few months, said ABS in a briefing Tuesday (Dec 1) morning.

"Criminals have been targeting computer users. But now, criminals have turned to targeting Android phone users... as banks are pushing out more banking apps for user convenience," said Mrs Ong-Ang Ai Boon, director of ABS.

After downloading the update, the malware prompts users to enter confidential information such as credit card details.

At this point, the malware takes over control of the smartphone and intercepts the one-time password (OTP) sent via SMS to the phone for committing fraudulent transactions.