Banks in India have been increasingly offering the online platform to their customers for their convenience, but this has also resulted in an increase in online malware in the banking system.
Japanese security firm Trend Micro, in its report on cyber crime, reveals that in the first quarter of this calendar year (January-March) India was the third most-affected country in the world by the online banking malware.
In the Jan-March quarter this year, United States led the charts with 23 percent exposure to being prone to online malware, followed by Japan at 10 percent and India at 9 percent.
In the quarter before this (Oct-Dec 2013), India was at the 7th position with only 3 percent exposure to online banking malware.
“The number of online bankers in the India has improved the overall industry but has resulted in significant rise in malicious activities,” said Dhanya Thakkar, Managing Director, Trend Micro (India & SEA).
He adds that, “The improvements in the banking industry and the trend towards making online payments have caused such fluctuations in the growth of banking malware. Also, the introduction of new techniques by cybercriminals causes these changes. Online banking malware creators updated their portfolios yet again in Q1, 2014 with the addition of new routines to their usual weapons of choice, and hence there was a spike in this quarter. “
The number of online banking malware detections overall has also picked up. This quarter it reached roughly 1,16,000, showing a slow but steady increase from 1,13,000 detections in the first quarter of 2013.
A malware is a software designed to disrupt or damage a computer system.
An earlier survey by Trend Micro had also pointed out that 15 bank related mobile apps and 39 online payment gateways, among several others, stand the risk of being exposed to cyber criminals. According to the study, social networking sites, shopping and health care apps used by Indian users are vulnerable.
Apart from mobile apps, 611 websites with the .in domain in the country were also found to be vulnerable, the Trend Micro survey reveals.