DENVER – It was a hot topic at the joint America's Credit Union Conference and World Credit Union Conference in Denver, and it's not difficult to see why. Many of the convention's breakout sessions focused on fraud, cyber and mobile security, and hacking, and a new trend involves attacks on smaller financial institutions, according to several of the speakers. For small credit unions, that means trying to figure out how to mitigate those risks on a budget while increasing the use of technology to attract a younger age group.

Smartphone apps are an easy way to attract younger customers because they are accustomed to using the apps in nearly every other aspect of their lives. However, it's also an easy way for hackers to access information, speaker Tony Ferris, managing partner of the Overland Park, Kan.-based Rochdale Group, said. Third-party apps can be hacked to access the microphone of an individual's cell phone. Once the voice is captured, it can bypass voice authentication.

Mobile spyware is also growing, as well as counterfeit banking apps. Hackers can create apps that look similar to a credit union's app in the hopes that customers will download the wrong one and make it easy to install malware. However, hacking the good old fashioned way can still be an easier, preferred method for hackers, speaker Jim Stickley, CEO of the San Diego-based Stickley on Security, said.

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