Though according to experts mobile phones are not secure, mobile banking is said to be safe. Most of the users do not use password protected files on their mobile phones or take the trouble of installing anti-virus software. Banking through your mobile phone is said to be safe since the criminals have not yet ventured into mobile phone hacking or targetted mobile phones with malware. As more and more people are taking on mobile banking, the purpose is becoming more transactional in addition to simply just checking balances and getting alerts. The threats of criminals getting into mobiles are likely to mount as days go on.
Recent Trends in Mobile hacking
Experts say that criminals have not attacked mobiles so far for the same reason they have not targetted Macs, since Macs do not have the bulk use as the PCs. Mobile banking software is too small for these criminals to be seriously attracted to. However, people using mobile banking are still ignorant of the fact that their mobile phone is vulnerable and are susceptible to fraud. These people have not yet connected the same threat to their mobile phones as the ones in laptops, since mobile phones have not been targeted by the hackers yet. But sooner or later hackers may resort to targeting mobile phones as mobile banking is becoming increasing popular.
The top vendors of anti-virus software like, Symantec, VeriSign, RSA and McAfee have their software embedded in third party solutions, or have one of these software programs loaded onto the phone’s software. The banks do not offer anti-virus with their mobile banking software and hence it is the sole responsibility of the clients to keep their mobile banking data safe. The banks do not look into the security considerations at all when offering mobile banking software, and it is not expected of the users to understand encryption in its entirety. If a vendor says that the software product has 128-bit encryption, users would trust that it will work.
Potential of Mobile hacking
It is expected that the threat to mobile phones will take two distinct which can either be worms or malware. Experts observe that the most affected would be the application stores of iPhone, Android and Blackberry which have quite many applications being offered. Experts view this as an ‘arms race’ and comment that these applications being offered are more of quantity than quality.
A potential threat to mobile banking could come as a worm, and security experts are following up on one type which is called SexyView. SexyView is said to travel in your mobile through SMS and it picks up the phone numbers in your mobile address book and starts to send SMS to those numbers with a link asking the recipients to download a new copy of the worm in their phones. This is how the worm spreads.
It is observed that even within this looming threat, mobile banking is said to be the most secure way of banking. It remains a fact that, banking through mobiles is in real time having geo-positioning capabilities and might include biometric security features and capabilities which are essentially fingerprints, voice recognition which would increase the security for consumers and the bank.