Economy Online Banking: Shielding Against Cybercriminals

Online Banking: Shielding Against Cybercriminals


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Hackers take advantage of the vulnerabilities of the internet to attack online banking and the special circumstances of the pandemic have given wings to certain fraud.

Online banking is here to stay, and cybersecurity has become a key issue in the face of attacks from cybercriminals, who take advantage of any little gap to get hold of your data, if not worse. “Nobody likes to lose money, but what really worries is the ignorance of what has happened and that terrible feeling of feeling cheated”, recalls Carles Solà © Pascual, director of Technological Risk and Operations at Banco Santander.

Nor do we get carried away by scaremongering. “Online banking it is as or safer than the face-to-face. We invested a lot of resources in guaranteeing it. “However, these rare times that we live in have made this problem more pressing (as well).” During the lockdown, the capacity of cybercriminals increased significantly. In this context of stress, we were less alert and uncertainty made us hungry for information about the virus, and criminals took advantage of this to distribute applications and videos that, once opened, compromised computers and mobiles citizens “. And there has also been” a collateral effect with security breaches in non-banking services, such as social networks, where security levels are not as high. ”

In general, the stars of the online banking scam continue to be “campaigns by email (phishing), SMS (smishing) or phone call (vishing), which try to steal customer information. They impersonate companies or individuals of confidence to deceive the victim and get him to give relevant data. To avoid them the best thing is never provided data by these means “.

Solé alerts of “the phone call in which they pose as phone companies, social security or the bank itself. During the call, they get the data they need to impersonate the customer, perform the operation and ask for the confirmation codes. It is best to hang up with an ‘I’m not interested, thank you.

Another type of attack, which appears in waves, is the SIM card duplicate. “With the aforementioned methods, criminals get enough information about a person (name, ID, and telephone number) and request from the telephone company a duplicate of the SIM that they act on their mobile phones. They have a short time until the victim realizes that the phone is not working, but they can access their apps, including online banking, personal mail, SMS, WhatsApp, Telegram, etc. “.

Finally, Solà © has detected a growth of banking Trojans: “Through an email, downloading a mobile app or, above all, downloading movies or music on pirated platforms, they manage to infect the computer or the telephone. During the pandemic, many companies telecommute they stopped having basic protection mechanisms on their employees’ computers. ”

Fortunately, we can take refuge from all these threats. “It is enough to follow some basic guidelines. Think before clicking; be suspicious of emails, links to web pages, mobile apps, videos or documents of dubious origin, SMS, etc., especially when they include too good offers; And, of course, never give bank information by these means, especially if we notice urgency or insistence on who asks us. Bank messages are always produced in a customer-initiated interaction, and with detailed information on the operation. “It is also essential to protect computers and mobiles,” updating operating systems and applications and surfing the Internet safely, always being wary of pages that do not start with HTTPS or that are not enough for us reliable “.

Furthermore, in the online world, discretion is key. “You have to think carefully about what personal information is essential to provide on social networks or when we subscribe to some service online. The less the better. And let us be suspicious of requests for friendship or contact from people we do not know in real life. “Finally, the great horse of battle of the passwords. “We should not share or write them down, you have to change them with a certain frequency and have different ones for different services.”

If, despite everything, we are victims of cybercriminals, “the first thing is to change the access codes immediately and communicate it to the bank as soon as possible, in addition to reporting the events in more detail to the National Police or the Guardia Civil, even when an attempt has been left behind or the amount has been recovered. Reports help understand cybercriminals’ modus operandi“.

With the collaboration of Banco Santander.


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