Maybe Don’t Keep Your Bank Account on Your Cell Phone

If your bank account is stored on your smartphone, guess what? Banking smartphone apps contain security flaws — flaws that transcend the existential problem that mobile phones are small, portable and easy to steal.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Wells Fargo and Bank of America, among other banks, are currently at work patching up gaps in their phone-based banking systems, because at presence the system is a bit vulnerable to robbers.

The data could be gleaned if a criminal got physical access to the phone. It could also be obtained remotely if an attacker were able to con a user into visiting a malicious website, according to Andrew Hoog, chief investigative officer of viaForensics, a Chicago computer and mobile security firm that discovered the flaws.

You could “trick the user with a fishing fake email or text message, sending the user to a website that would infect the device and allow the hacker to steal this data,” Mr. Hoog said.

The proliferation of mobile technology has already proven to produce the occasional unpleasant wrinkle. But until it’s all ironed out, maybe it’s best to keep the banking data off the phone. Because, you know, hackers.

mtaylor [at] observer.com | @mbrookstaylor

Maybe Don’t Keep Your Bank Account on Your Cell Phone