As of 2014, China is home to 649 million internet users with millions being added every month. Driven by high smartphone penetration and improving network coverage, more Chinese are using mobile payment services. The country’ annual m-payment turnover soared 134.30% year-on-year to reach US$3.61 trillion in 2014. However, the booming growth of this fledgling industry also brings security concerns. Here are some tricks often used by mobile payment hackers in China.
Nowadays, Chinese internet users tend to make payments and bank transfers on-the-go, via public WiFi networks because it is just there and free. However, this habit could make you easy prey for hackers who set up fraudulent WiFi in shopping malls or entertainment centers.
Once WiFi squatters connect their mobile device to this network, their personal information is in danger of being stolen. If they conduct any kind of purchase or transfer in the meantime, hackers can record their IP address and information at the back-end, and then steal their accounts and passwords.
QR Codes with Virus Embedded
Although QR codes never quite took off in the West, they have become immensely popular in China as customers scan codes to find friends, make payments, exchange information, redeem coupons, follow services on WeChat, and so on. Hackers can embed a virus to QR codes so that anyone scanning them will automatically download a virus to their smartphones. Personal information from phone numbers to bank details and passwords can be stolen in seconds.
In this case, hackers send out short messages in fraudulent bank service numbers to lure users to log in to a fake website. Once customers input bank accounts and passwords on the site, hackers will steal the information and be able to access the money in their bank accounts.
Image credit: ShutterStock
Editing by Mike Cormack (@bucketoftongues)