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Cardiff Crime National News South Wales

Metro Bank rings alarm over surge in ‘malware mania’

The high streets of the UK are no strangers to trends, but Metro Bank’s “Scam of the Month” for August highlights a troubling surge: malware attacks on bank customers. Metro Bank is sounding the alarm for its 2.8 million customers and the broader UK public.

These malicious software packages are crafted meticulously by global cyber criminals, their sole aim being to exploit devices ranging from home computers to the smartphones in our pockets. Last year, a staggering 5.5 billion malware attacks were recorded worldwide.

Baz Thompson, Metro Bank’s distinguished Head of Fraud & Investigations, elucidated, “UK banks, particularly mobile banking users, have seen an alarming uptick in malware assaults. As part of our ongoing commitment, we’re guiding consumers on the tell-tale signs to catch these nefarious activities early on.”

Users need to be vigilant. Tell-tale signs include:

  • Device Performance: Sluggish operations and unresponsive apps.
  • Heat: An unusual warmth even with regular tasks.
  • Mysterious Apps: Unexpected applications, which might be gateways for these cyber criminals.
  • Data Overuse: Apps that transmit data at alarming rates.
  • Odd Communications: When loved ones receive unusual messages from your accounts.

Malware isn’t just a minor nuisance; it has multiple grim faces. Beyond just swiping personal data, they intercept messages, hijack online banking, and can even turn devices into unsuspecting conduits for further attacks or, more deviously, to mine cryptocurrency. One particularly sinister form, ransomware, has grown so prevalent that the UK government has categorised it as a Tier 1 national security threat.

However, Thompson assures, “The battle against malware is not insurmountable. Regular software updates and app permission checks remain strong lines of defence.”

To bolster cybersecurity:

  • Ensure devices and browsers are up-to-date.
  • Install reputable security software, even on mobiles.
  • Only trust downloads from certified vendors.
  • Routinely review and cull unsupported apps.
  • Exercise caution with emails and texts, avoiding impulsive clicks.
  • Strengthen passwords and embrace multi-factor authentication.

Should one suspect a malware breach:

  1. Alert your bank immediately.
  2. Report to Action Fraud.
  3. Text 7726 (SPAM) to notify your mobile provider.
  4. Engage security software to scan and eliminate potential threats.

Metro Bank, famed for its excellent customer service, continues to lead by example, ensuring that its community is educated and equipped against such digital threats.

For further insights, please reach out to Julie Urquhart at Metro Bank at [email protected] or visit their social channels.

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