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Security researchers have discovered a new type of Android banking malware that prevents users from calling their banks’ customer service lines to get assistance.

The new version of Android.Fakebank.B keeps a list of Russian and South Korean banks’ numbers and prevents victims from making calls to them, according to Symantec.

Among the financial institutions whose telephone numbers have been blocked are KB Bank, KEB Hana Bank, NH Bank, Sberbank, SC Bank and Shinhan Bank.

Meanwhile, the malware deletes banks’ apps, installs its own malicious versions and steals users’ information to send to its creators.

“Typically, when a banking customer calls a customer care number through a registered mobile device, their call will be routed to an interactive voice response system,” Symantec principal threat analysis engineer Dinesh Venkatesan wrote in a blog post.

“By blocking these numbers, the malware creators can stop a victim from asking their bank to cancel payment cards that the variants stole. This also gives the malware more time to steal data from the compromised device. Affected users can still find other channels, such as email or landline calls, to reach customer care.”

Symantec advises users to keep their devices’ software up to date, only install apps from trusted sources, pay close attention to the permissions they request, install security software and make frequent backups of any important data.

This malware is one of many threats to mobile users and businesses.

This week, research by Intel Security showed that British workers’ fear of logging off is leading them to put their security at risk when they are on holiday abroad.

In fact, business travellers are more likely to be robbed of their data than their money. And users trying to get their hands on the new Pokemon Go game before its official UK release may have been duped by a malicious impostor.

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