E-commerce fraud peaks over holiday period

The overall number of e-commerce fraud attacks in Q4 2017 was more than the total volume recorded across all industries in the previous quarter, new research from ThreatMetrix has found.

Q4 saw an unprecedented level of attacks on e-commerce with almost 193 million rejected transactions – representing a 92 per cent on the previous quarter and 173 per cent increase on the previous year.

The study notes that the e-commerce industry has changed considerably over the past few years and consumer behaviour has evolved from desktop transacting to mobile-based behaviour, with consumers holding a number of accounts and cards-on-file with retailers. As a result, e-commerce fraud is also rapidly evolving, with fraudsters targeting account takeovers to access sensitive personal credentials and saved credit cards.

ThreatMetrix recorded more than 34 million attacks from bots during the peak period, ranging from sophisticated programmes replicating legitimate customer traffic, to simple account validation attacks.

The report stated: “The changing face of retail is clearly evident with more digital transactions than ever, continued growth of logins from mobile devices and a strong growth in number of attacks from identity testing botnets to payment fraud.

“Attack rates on e-commerce overtook media for the first time in two years, driven by a big growth in e-commerce account creation and login attacks.”

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