Friday, September 25, 2020

Phones with outdated operating systems to lose mobile-banking access

Dec 21. 2019
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By The Nation

The Bank of Thailand (BOT) has stepped up measures to ensure mobile-banking security, assistant governor Siritida Panomwon Na Ayudhya said on Friday (December 20).

The central bank has issued guiding principles for mobile-banking security, which will not allow obsolete operating systems of smartphones to access banking services.

She said currently mobile banking has grown rapidly. There are about 55 million accounts registered to use mobile banking in the first nine months of this year, up from 41 million accounts last year, while financial transactions reached 3.2 billion items via mobile banking, up from 2.7 billion last year.

Mobile phones have become a more-important tool for financial transactions, she said.

However, risks stemming from malwares or fake applications also posed a threat to the system, she warned. Therefore, the central bank will require financial institutions to be more careful about the security of the system.

Banks will have to inform customers that they cannot use mobile phones with obsolete operating systems, such as Android software prior to version 4, and iOS of iPhone prior to version 8. These outdated operating systems are vulnerable to cyberattacks.

“Mobile phones run by an obsolete operating system would have limited access to mobile-banking services or could be totally banned in the future; mobile devices that have been jailbroken or rooted would also be prohibited,” she said. The iOS latest operating version is 13.3. Mobile phones run by the obsolete Android system is less than one per cent. An estimated 10,000 mobile phones have been jailbroken and currently are used to access banking services.

Banks would also be required to have more complicated settings for PIN codes and passwords in order to reduce the risk of being hacked.

The central bank would allow banks four months to make the necessary changes before the guiding principles are enforced in May next year, she added.

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