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Monday, November 20, 2017

ThreatMetrix study predicts record holiday cyberattacks

ThreatMetrix is warning retailers and consumers to be vigilant this holiday season. The company’s Q3 2017 Cybercrime Report, published Nov. 15, 2017, recorded 171 million attacks against ecommerce sites in the third quarter of 2017, a 32 percent increase from the first quarter of the year, the company stated.

Security analysts contributing to the study also detected increasingly sophisticated attack vectors, such as wide-scale, automated bot attacks against consumers and business owners. Report findings suggest criminals will be attracted to the holiday season’s high traffic and high average tickets, raising potential losses to billions in retail revenue. Report authors expect armies of fraudsters to launch more than 50 million cyberattacks during the week of Nov. 20, 2017.

Vanita Pandey, Vice President, Product Marketing at ThreatMetrix, predicted ecommerce attacks in the final quarter of 2017 to be significantly higher than the same period in 2016. As retailers recruit seasonal workers to cover the busy shopping period, cybercriminals will also be busy priming automated cyber robots to launch orchestrated cyberattacks, she noted.

“Fraud is rapidly evolving from quarter to quarter, because information is changing and criminals are using more sophisticated tools,” Pandey stated. “By using the power of our network to evaluate global threats, we are detecting common patterns and warning retailers to expect heightened attacks throughout the holidays.”

Escalating identity fraud

Pandey has seen a spike in bot-initiated identity testing attacks, and predicts 5 million to 8 million attacks will take place between Nov. 20 and Nov. 27, 2017. Identity theft can go undetected for long periods, especially by consumers with limited digital footprints, she warned. “Financial inclusion initiatives have unwittingly exposed unbanked and underbanked consumers to identity fraud,” she stated. “They use mobile banking, money transfer, prepaid accounts and direct deposit, but have limited visibility into their credit reports and histories.”

Companies moving to digital platforms need better tools to stop cybercrime, Pandey added. For example, charitable organizations with small digital footprints collect millions of dollars in online donations. These organizations must differentiate between true donors and fraudsters who impersonate them. To further this effort, Pandey said, the company developed ThreatMetrix ID, a three-pronged tool that creates unique global identifiers, visualization graphs and identity data trust scoring to verify and authenticate identities. “We want to help companies benefit from our intelligence and identify fraudulent transactions,” she said. “We saw more attacks on ecommerce in Q3 than all four quarters last year.”

Data sets in the Q3 2017 Cybercrime Report are derived from the ThreatMetrix Digital Identity Network, a crowdsourced, cross-industry digital identity intelligence platform that uses location and behavioral data to confirm identities and intercept fraudulent transactions, logins and new account applications.

Following are additional key metrics from the Q3 report:

  • A record 171 million attacks in Q3 2017, reflecting a 100 percent increase over Q3 2015.

  • 450 million identity tests attacks by bots underscores the mass migration of cybercriminals from credit card fraud to identity theft.

  • Fraudulent new account registrations exceeded fraudulent payment transactions, following recent mass harvests of stolen identities in high-profile cyberattacks.

  • Increased cyberattacks in Europe, Middle East and Asian regions, with Brazil cited as a leading source of new account origination attacks.

A copy of the report is available at www.threatmetrix.com/digital-identity-insight/cybercrime-report/q3-2017-cybercrime-report/?utm_source=prweb&utm_medium=pr&utm_campaign=q3-2017-ccr . end of article

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