Skye Bank Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Tokunbo Abiru has advocated practical strategies, concerted efforts, and close collaboration from technology, Telcos and IT security experts to prevent current proliferation of clone apps and attendant impact on safety of smart phone users in Nigeria.
Abiru made this suggestion in a keynote note address titled: “Strategising against Malicious App Clones’ delivered at 3rd quarter General Meeting of the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF), held in Lagos to review the activities of the body, and work out a more proactive means of mitigating electronic fraud.
Represented by the Executive Director, Technology & Services, Innocent Ike, he noted that “one of the strategies to deal with this menace was the enactment of the Cybercrimes Prohibition, Prevention Act, 2015. This is meant to regulate the cyber security space in the country and provide for the application of stiff penalties for internet infractions.”
Abiru also argued that more still needs to be done by all stakeholders, even as he outlined other steps, including “ensuring that innocent app users never download apps from untrusted third parties. He added that “users should always download apps from official app marketplaces like Appstore for Apple phones, Google play for Android phones, and windows phone store for Windows phones to dramatically reduce the risk of downloading mobile application malwares.”
“Users of mobile devices not enabling the option to accept apps from any source or app market on their devices and avoid giving administrative access/privileges to apps where possible, and listed the need for installation of anti-malware tools to detect malicious apps installed on their devices.
“The best way to protect oneself from these malicious apps, is to avoid accepting or installing mobile apps originating from unfamiliar sources.”
While asking for vigilance on the part of smartphone and computer users, Abiru pointed out that “the intent of the developers of malicious app clones is to deceive smartphone users and get them to download the malicious app onto their phones. These apps are designed primarily to steal information, track users’ activities, send un-solicited content, re-configure the target device or carry out sundry malicious activities such as Smishing (short form for SMS Phishing).
“The explosion in the development and distribution of “apps” has increased the risks associated with the use of smartphones and one of such risks is the Malicious App Clones, which is a discourse at this meeting.”
In the process, the experienced banker opined that “information such as individual and corporate emails and data, banking transaction data and personal data on social media sites, WhatsApp, SMS amongst others do get compromised with devastating consequence.
Earlier in his address, Dipo Fatokun, Director, Banking & Payments System Department, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and Chairman, NeFF spoke of the readiness of the regulator to confront emerging threats in electronic payment. This is being done with the introduction of USSD mode of payment by Banks working in concert with NCC and by co-opting relevant stakeholders on preventing fraud incidence through sim swaps.
He then disclosed that “through a shared services initiative with key stakeholders across the e-payment channels, that will be domiciled with NeFF by first quarter 2018, through which incidence of electronic fraud would be curbed.
He expressed joy that this was the “first time we are having representatives of Airtel, MTN, Glo and 9mobile join us at this quarterly forum to enable us work in unison and jointly explore and look at issues that would make the USSD mode of payment, threat free.”