The big four banks of Australia are under the threat of an Android malware that not only steals banking details of the customer but also prevents the generation of the two-factor authentication security.

The malware targets million of customers associated with the big four Australian banks – Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, ANZ Bank and Westpac. However, the malware threat is not only confined to the largest Australian banks but also includes other financial institutions like ASB Bank, Bankwest, Halkbank, Bank of New Zealand, Bendigo Bank, Yapi Kredi Bank, VakifBank, St. George Bank, Wells Fargo, Garanti Bank, Kiwibank, ME Banks and many more.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the malicious software is able to hide on infected devices and stay there until users open their legitimate banking applications. The said malware brings a false login screen so that the username and passwords of the app users could be captured or duplicated. It has been designed to target around 20 famous mobile banking apps used across Australia, Turkey, and New Zealand and has the capability of superimposing fake login screens to eBay, WhatsApp, Paypal, Skype and numerous other apps supported by Google.

Wall Street Journal, in one of its articles, suggested ways to prevent Android attacks. One of the most vital ways to prevent malware entrance into a device is by updating the system used at regular intervals. Downloading available updates help Android devices as well as other operating systems to defend itself from unauthorised attacks. Besides updating the system, users can also scan for malware. Upgrading antivirus versions is a great help in this connection.

The recent speculated Android malware attack also prevents the generation of authentication codes that is sent on user mobiles via an SMS. Instead, the malicious software transfers the code directly to the hackers without users knowing. As a result, hackers could use this banking information and access and transfer funds anywhere in the globe.

ESET senior research fellow Nick FitzGerald claimed that malware attacks have been increasing with faster pace these days as hackers are becoming more tech-savvy.”This is a significant attack on the banking sector in Australia and New Zealand, and shouldn’t be taken lightly,” FitzGerald said.

“While 20 banking apps have been targeted so far, there’s a high possibility the e-criminals involved will further develop this malware to attack more banking apps in the future.”