SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, McAfee’s Advanced Threats Research team released its Mobile Threat Report 2021, which found hackers are using fake apps, Trojans and fraudulent messages to target consumers. Last year, McAfee revealed that hidden apps were the most active mobile threat facing consumers. But following a year of lockdowns and a surge in time spent online and on devices, fraudsters are capitalising on this with more approaches. With most of the world still anxious about COVID-19 and demand for vaccines high, McAfee’s research sheds light on how hackers are targeting these fears with bogus apps, text messages, and social media invitations.
“The pandemic changed the way consumers live, meaning hackers have adapted to switch up the various methods they use to target consumers. With more people connected online than ever before, we want to make sure we are doing everything possible to help refocus consumer’s digital mindsets to protect what matters to them and their friends and family – their personal data,” Judith Bitterli, Senior Vice President, Consumer Business Group at McAfee. “Mobile threats remain prevalent in our world and as fraudsters use more advanced methods, this will only continue. We aim to support consumers in safeguarding their personal devices and more importantly, personal data.”
Over the past year, the vaccine rollout has advanced at different rates across the globe, providing plenty of opportunities for hackers. McAfee Advanced Threat researchers found that hackers are hiding malware and malicious links inside fakes vaccination appointments and registration display ads. These have the potential to download malware onto a person’s device that displays unwanted ads, as well as activating accessibility features to give the hacker full device control, with the goal of stealing banking details and credentials. According to the research, some of these campaigns worryingly started as early as November last year, before any vaccines had officially been approved, while others continue to appear as countries roll out their vaccination programmes in the fight against COVID-19.
“We’ve seen how the pandemic not only led…