“Evil mobile emulator farms” used to steal millions from US and EU banks

 In bank fraud, Biz & IT, emulators, mobile devices, Tech

“Evil mobile emulator farms” used to steal millions from US and EU banks

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“Evil mobile emulator farms” used to steal millions from US and EU banks

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Researchers from IBM Trusteer say they’ve uncovered a massive fraud operation that used a network of mobile device emulators to drain millions of dollars from online bank accounts in a matter of days.

The scale of the operation was unlike anything the researchers have seen before. In one case, crooks used about 20 emulators to mimic more than 16,000 phones belonging to customers whose mobile bank accounts had been compromised. In a separate case, a single emulator was able to spoof more than 8,100 devices, as shown in the following image:

(credit: IBM Trusteer)

The thieves then entered usernames and passwords into banking apps running on the emulators and initiated fraudulent money orders that siphoned funds out of the compromised accounts. Emulators are used by legitimate developers and researchers to test how apps run on a variety of different mobile devices.

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Scale of operation is unlike anything researchers had seen before.

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