There has been a recent increase in mobile banking Trojan campaigns in India, specifically targeting Android smartphone users [3]. These campaigns utilize popular instant messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram to deceive users into downloading malicious apps by disguising themselves as legitimate organizations, such as banks and government services [2] [3] [5].


The attackers share malicious APK files through WhatsApp and Telegram [4], posing as banking apps and claiming that the users’ bank accounts will be blocked unless they update their PAN issued by the Indian Income Tax Department [3] [4] [7]. The fraudulent apps are distributed through social media platforms and instant messaging apps as APK files. Once installed, the apps prompt users to enter sensitive information [1] [3], including personal details, banking information [3] [6] [7], payment card details [3] [4] [6], and online banking credentials [1] [5] [7]. This information is then transmitted to a command-and-control server controlled by the attacker [1] [7].

The malicious apps also request permission to read and transmit SMS messages, allowing them to intercept one-time passwords and forward victims’ messages to the attacker’s phone number [3] [7]. Variants of this Trojan have also been found to steal credit card details and personally identifiable information [3].

To address the growing threat of Android malware, Google and Samsung have introduced new security features [3]. Users are advised to verify the legitimacy of app developers [3], carefully review app permissions, and scrutinize reviews before downloading any software. Microsoft recommends installing apps only from official stores, remaining vigilant against social engineering tactics, and utilizing mobile security solutions [6]. It is important to note that users must enable the option to install apps from unknown sources for these attacks to be successful [4].


Android smartphone users in India are being targeted by a malware campaign that uses social engineering tactics to trick them into installing fake apps that collect personal information [4] [5]. The goal of the campaign is to obtain sensitive data like account credentials [5], payment card information [2] [3] [4] [5] [7], and banking details [1] [3] [4] [5] [7]. The malware spreads through social media messages and once installed [5], it asks victims to enter their online banking credentials and other personal information [5], which is then sent to a phone number and a command-and-control server controlled by the attackers [5]. The malware also has the ability to intercept one-time passwords and send messages from victims to the attackers [5].

To protect themselves, users should only install apps from trusted sources and remain cautious of social engineering tactics. It is crucial to stay updated on the latest security features introduced by companies like Google and Samsung. As the threat of Android malware continues to evolve, it is important for users to stay vigilant and take necessary precautions to safeguard their personal information.