May 8, 2018
Fraud attacks, especially those targeting e-commerce sites, grew significantly in the first quarter this year compared to Q1 2017, according to a new report. In its Q1 2018 Cybercrime Report, San Jose, Calif.-based antifraud technology provider ThreatMetrix said it identified and stopped 210 million attacks from January through March 2018, a 62 percent increase from a year ago. While financial services used to experience the brunt of cyber attacks, data from Q1 showed that e-commerce companies are now 10 times more likely to experience attacks than financial services companies. And, those attacks continue to focus on the account level, driven by bots.
Of the one billion bot attacks identified by ThreatMetrix in the quarter, 820 million of them were directed at e-commerce merchants either testing stolen credentials, performing fraudulent new account creations or taking over existing accounts. Nearly one-third of all account login attempts and 13.5 percent of all new account creations across ThreatMetrix’s network in Q1 were fraudulent.
“The key focus for attacks targeting the e-commerce industry is identity testing,” the report’s authors wrote. “As a result, the overall attack rates for account logins and new account creations have steadily grown and are one of the highest of all industries analyzed. This is heavily influenced by mass scale bot activity from across the globe that ranged from sophisticated bots attempting to masquerade as legitimate customer traffic, to simple account validation attacks. Successful identity testing attacks on a new account creation can result in further multiple opportunities to perpetrate fraud, while fraudsters also continue to takeover good user accounts in order to access sensitive personal credentials and saved credit cards.”