August 4, 2020


One-time pass codes, a crucial defense for online banking applications, are being intercepted by a malware program for Android, according to new research from Symantec.
Many online banking applications require a login and password plus a time-sensitive code in order to gain access. The one-time pass code is sent over SMS but also can be delivered via an automated phone call.
Some banks have moved to call-based delivery of pass codes. In theory, that provides better security since SMS messages can be intercepted by some malware, wrote Dinesh Venkatesan of Symantec in a blog post on Tuesday.
But Bankosy has been updated to forward all calls to the attackers, Venkatesan wrote. In the Asia-Pacific region, many operators use a service code in the format *21*[destination number]# to forward calls, which Bankosy has implemented.
The malware also “has support for disabling and enabling silent mode in addition to locking the device so that the victim is not alerted during an incoming call,” Venkatesan wrote.
The one-time pass code is used with the victim’s login credentials, which the attackers have presumably already obtained.
Symantec detected Bankosy in July 2014. A technical write up from that time shows the malware also prompted victims to enter their payment card information in a more bold attempt at fraud.