Fraudsters are taking increasing advantage of mountains of information stolen through data breaches to create accounts that can then be abused in a number of ways, according to a new report from antifraud technology provider ThreatMetrix. The San Jose, Calif.-based company, in its quarterly cybercrime report, said fraudulent account origination aimed at banks increased 40 percent during Q4 2015 compared to the same period a year earlier. It is the second research report this week to focus on the growth of account takeover or account creation as a favored technique of cybercriminals.
For e-commerce merchants, the numbers were even more dire. ThreatMetrix said it identified and stopped 58 million fraudulent transactions from October through December, 124 percent more than Q4 2014. And, the unprecedented move to mobile—mobile online transactions were 200 percent higher in 2015 than the year before, the report said—has provided fraudsters with an opportunity to leverage stolen identities through creating and monetizing new accounts.
“Digital businesses need digital identities,” said Vanita Pandey, senior director of strategy and product marketing at ThreatMetrix. “It’s no longer safe to rely on usernames and passwords to protect customer accounts. Businesses must adopt a holistic and layered approach to authenticating identity, leveraging the unique digital footprints that users leave as they transact online.”