Attention, discover the terrifying threat of iOS software that steals faces to deceive biometrics thanks to AI exchanges!

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New threat: iOS malware steals faces to bypass biometrics with AI exchanges

iOS mobile device users are currently under threat from a new malware called “GoldPickaxe”. Developed by Chinese hackers, this software uses artificial intelligence exchanges to bypass biometrics measures and steal faces, personal identifiers and phone numbers. Cybercriminals can then use this information to access victims’ bank accounts.

A sophisticated attack

Group-IB researchers identified one victim of this attack, a Vietnamese citizen who lost approximately $40,000 as a result of this deception. What makes this attack special is the use of deepfakes, manipulated videos that allow the biometric security systems of Southeast Asian banks to be fooled. The malware masquerades as a government application and primarily targets elderly people. Victims are thus encouraged to scan their faces, which allows hackers to generate deepfakes from these scans.

The challenge of biometric authentication

This attack highlights the advanced level of deepfake technologies and their ability to bypass biometric authentication mechanisms. Criminals exploit this weakness and take advantage of the fact that most users are unaware of this threat. According to Andrew Newell, scientific director at iProov, deepfakes are a tool of choice for hackers because they give them incredible power and control.

How hackers bypass Thai banks

The Bank of Thailand has implemented a policy to combat financial fraud by requiring facial recognition for all important customer actions. However, the GoldPickaxe malware quickly bypassed this security measure. Appearing three months after the bank’s policy was implemented, this malware presents itself as an application called “Digital Pension” used by elderly people to receive their pension in digital format. Victims are encouraged to scan their face, upload their government ID card and submit their phone number. Unlike other banking malware, GoldPickaxe does not operate on top of a real financial application, but instead collects all the necessary information to bypass authentication checks and manually log into victims’ bank accounts.

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Fight against biometric banking trojans

These attacks highlight the need for the banking industry to evolve quickly to deal with growing threats. Banks must implement more advanced security measures, adapted to new technological challenges. Banks are recommended to implement sophisticated monitoring of user sessions and customers to adopt good security practices, including avoiding clicking on suspicious links, verifying the authenticity of bank communications and promptly contacting their bank in the event of suspected fraud.

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