Peer-to-Peer (P2P) media platforms saw a tremendous spike in fraudulent activity ahead of the holiday season, a new report has revealed. As many Brits planned for their summer breaks and holidays in the sun, review sites and other media platforms have become a major target amongst cybercriminals over the last 90 days.
During the second quarter of 2016 ThreatMetrix®, The Digital Identity Company™ – which protects and monitors more than 20 billion online transactions each year – spotted that fraudulent new account registrations had increased 350 percent over the previous year, ahead of the holiday season.
P2P marketplaces are now more popular than ever, with consumers preferring to trust user-generated content over the individual brands or organisations’ websites. One of the biggest reasons consumers flock to peer-to-peer marketplaces is often to save money and nowadays P2P sites offer a way of shopping around to make sure they get the best deals. However, cybercriminals have spotted a huge opportunity with this trend and are using it to their advantage.
“Using compromised and stolen identities from recent breaches and social engineering hacks, fraudsters are able to exploit these platforms and readers. While there is no direct victim of malicious or false content, the impact is extensive. Over the last few months we’ve seen and stopped millions of compromised identities being tested each day by cybercriminals and bots mimicking the behaviour of trusted customers” commented Vanita Pandey, vice president, strategy and product marketing at ThreatMetrix.
UK-specific data and trends:
- Over 55 million attacks were detected and stopped in real time across Europe; a 66 percent increase over the previous year.
- UK is the top European attack destination for key countries within and outside the EU. Dridex took around 20M from UK bank accounts last year.
- Nearly 1 in 4 media transactions were rejected in Q2 Europe-wide ahead of the key holiday season. This represents a 92 percent increase over 2015 as fraudsters attempt to sign up for new accounts, create fraudulent content and distribute spam and malware.
- Over 10 percent of European account creations are now rejected as the impact of multiple high profile data breaches is felt keenly.
- Fraudsters are attempting to sign up for new accounts with stolen and spoofed identities which are easily available for sale on the dark web. This represents an increase of 123 percent since 2015.
- In the UK 58 percent of transactions are coming from mobile devices – significantly higher than the global number of 40 percent.
Other key findings from the report include:
- Attacks are becoming more prevalent and are evolving in scope, depth and complexity: In Q2 2016 The ThreatMetrix Network processed 5.2 billion transactions, identifying and stopping 112 million attacks globally. This represents a 50 percent increase over the previous year. The exploitation of stolen data is global and coordinated, resulting in huge attack spikes following a large breach.
- Bot attacks continue their relentless rise: 450 million bot attacks were detected and stopped this quarter, a 50 percent increase over last quarter.
- As mobile transactions increase, fraudsters’ mobile attacks evolve: Mobile transactions are growing at a rate of 200 percent year-over-year, and 40 percent of Network transactions now come from mobile devices. The Network’s reported its first mobile bot attack this quarter, as fraudsters seek to capitalise on the increasing popularity of mobile commerce.
About the ThreatMetrix Q2 2016 Cybercrime Report
The ThreatMetrix Q2 Cybercrime Report is based on actual cybercrime attacks from April 2016 – June 2016 that were detected by the ThreatMetrix Digital Identity Network during real-time analysis and interdiction of fraudulent online payments, logins and new account applications.