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OZ Mobile Users Under Attack By ‘Nation-States’

Un-named “nation states” are increasingly targeting mobile users in countries including Australia for intelligence gathering and disruption of national rivals, according to a report from Crowd Strike.

“These nation-states typically target end-users who demonstrate political or intelligence value, while the criminal actors attempt to monetise mobile devices through ransomware, banking trojans, credential theft and crypto-mining,” said Crowd Strike VP Adam Myers.

He noted that in late March a new malware family called Gustuff began being distributed to targets in Australia via an SMS spam campaign.

Gustuff gets victims to enter their credentials by triggering push notifications sent by a fake banking app. Other key trends noted in the report include:

  • Mobile ransomware, presenting just as large an issue as traditional ransomware and able to be used to support operations seeking to disrupt business operations as part of a wider attack against a company or sector;
  • Phishing and banking trojans remain prevalent criminal techniques;
  • Click fraud poses multiple threats, as it can be re-purposed to perform other functions; and
  • Insider threats present a large, critical issue in the mobile space.
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