Google Blocks 17 Dangerous Pinjol Applications, Indonesian Citizens Become Tech Victims – 9 hours ago

Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Google blocked 17 online loan applications (pinjol) that were dangerous for users. The application was detected as offering high loan interest and the potential for data theft.

According to ESET Research data, dangerous online loan applications or so-called ‘SpyLoan’ will increase throughout 2023.

The victims are spread across many countries, such as Mexico, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Nigeria, the Philippines, Egypt, Vietnam, Singapore, Colombia and Peru.

Quote TechRadar, a cyber security researcher from ESET Research said there are 18 dangerous pinjol applications circulating on the Google Play Store. These dozens of applications have been downloaded more than 12 million times since 2020.

ESET did not specifically mention the name of the dangerous pinjol application. However, they classify it as ‘SpyLoan’ because it uses spyware techniques.

These applications are usually promoted via SMS and social media such as Twitter/X, Facebook and YouTube.

Some of these malicious loan applications also imitate the names and branding of official loan service providers and financial institutions. There is even a loan service provider in Colombia who warns users not to be fooled by fake applications that imitate their name.

Once installed, the SpyLoan application immediately asks users to provide personal information such as address, contact information, proof of income, bank account information, and photos of the front and back of their identity card.

Next, the application sucks up sensitive data on the victim’s device, such as call logs, calendar events, device information, list of installed applications, local Wi-Fi network information, and photo metadata. Apart from that, they also target contact lists, user location data and SMS.

“After that, the operator of the dangerous loan application will blackmail and threaten the user to immediately pay the loan, even when the user did not borrow the money or the loan was rejected. There are even attackers who threaten to kill the user’s family,” as quoted by Gizmodo, Tuesday (12/12/ 2023).

ESET immediately reported its findings to Google. Currently, 17 dangerous online loan applications have been removed from the Play Store. Another one was able to escape because it had changed its access permissions and functions so that it was not detected as a SpyLoan application.

[Gambas:Video CNBC]

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