ThreatMetrix: Cybercrime Attempts Rising, Becoming More Sophisticated

May 8, 2015         By: Kevin Xu

A report from ThreatMetrix confirms what we’ve all feared.

Cybercrime is on the rise, and its being fueled by sophisticated tools, along with the data breaches that have plagued retailers large and small.

ThreatMetrix analyzed more than six billion global data transactions (which included account logins, account creation, and payments) on mobile and online channels.

It was found that on average, 31 percent of all data transactions came from a mobile device. This number is expected to rise as more mobile devices hit the market.

Thanks to the data breaches that have hit retailers large and small, device and identity spoofing are becoming the most popular mode of attack for fraudsters.

With identity spoofing, bits and pieces of information including email addresses, phone numbers, payment details, and passwords are used for fraud or account takeovers. These pieces of information can be sourced from data breaches that have occurred previously, hence why big data breaches are usually a precursor for a rise in fraud attempts.

ThreatMetrix found that 8.5 percent of transactions were detected as identity spoofs, i.e., logging in with stolen credentials from an untrusted device in March 2015.

Device spoofing occurs when a hacker deletes cookies that sites leave on a device as a digital footprint, or modifies browser settings to appear as if their transaction occurs from a victim’s device. 8.1 percent of transactions were detected as device spoofs for the month of March 2015.

“In the wake of recent data breaches, customers’ digital debris is floating in the cyber world for fraudsters to compromise, making accurate insight into digital identities of the utmost importance for businesses, especially in the e-commerce industry,” said Vanita Pandey, senior director, strategy and product marketing at ThreatMetrix.