Helping you balance your online life

Dec 15th


Holiday Scam #1: Not-So-Merry Mobile Apps

With the latest advancements in technology, we're now able to do everything from our phones from playing Candy Crush and booking our holiday trips to paying our bills. While applications may save time when it comes to holiday planning, malicious mobile apps are ready and waiting to ruin our Christmas cheer.

paper,Paper craft,Mobile phone and apps
Even the most official-looking software for holiday shopping, such as those appearing to feature celebrity or company endorsements, could be malicious applications designed to steal – or even send out – your information.
  • When it comes to your bank account, even apps that appear to have genuine-looking certificates can be used to siphon credentials and data and send that information back to the bad guys; in some cases, miscreants can even redirect incoming calls and messages, offering attackers the chance to bypass two-step authentication systems in instances when the second step involves a code that is sent to the mobile device.
  • This malware can come in a variety of forms, but two in particular: ZeuS-in-the-Mobile (Zitmo) and SpyEye-in-the-Mobile (Spitmo). Both are notorious among the mobile banking community.

TIP: Look into all mobile apps carefully before downloading anything onto your mobile devices; check the comments section and confirm the app's legitimacy directly with the parties that the software claims are involved.
Have a safe and happy holiday season!

Dennedy, M. (2013). McAfee's Online Safety Tips for the Top 12 Holiday Scams.

McAfee (2013). McAfee Spotlights the "12 Scams of Christmas" to Keep Consumers Digital Lives Safe