Cyberattacks against individual online bank accounts have become so sophisticated and pervasive that the Americaan Bankers Association is asking consumers to “partner” with banks to keep cyberrobbers in check, reports USA Today. The banking industry wants consumers to monitor their online accounts for unauthorized transactions on a “continuous, almost daily, basis,” says the association’s Doug Johnson. That’s because PCs and smartphones have become “the online bank branch for a lot of individuals,” he says.
The shifting burden has come about because of developments that the banking industry did not anticipate when it began promoting personal computers as convenient venues for consumer banking. Ambitious online attacks soon followed. The number of malicious software programs designed to pilfer online bank accounts – referred to as banking Trojans – rose to 65,098 in December, up from 4,295 at the start of 2009, says Panda Security, a Madrid-based antivirus software supplier. A 2009 ABA survey of 170 U.S. banks found that 85 percent of big banks are incurring losses stemming from cyberattacks on consumer online accounts. “Every single bank I’ve talked to in the last six months, big and small, has seen these attacks,” says Avivah Litan, banking security analyst at research firm Gartner.