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445 million Cyber attacks detected at start of 2020, COVID-19

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Cyber attacks

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445 million attacks detected since the start of 2020, COVID-19 wreaks havoc

In the half-moon of 2020, the Arkose Labs network recorded the very best attack rate ever seen. 26.5% of all transactions were fraud and abuse attempts, which may be a 20% increase over the previous quarter

With COVID-19 restricting face-to-face interactions across the world , consumer behavior is in flux and digital transactions are on the increase . Organized fraud operations are quick to mobilize, targeting spikes in digital activity.

Changing attack patterns during COVID-19

The report revealed that the us emerged because the top originator of cyberattacks, with attack levels increasing 20% since the previous quarter. There was a pointy increase in attacks originating from other well-established economies, like the uk , Germany and Canada.

The speed at which the cybercrime ecosystem adapts to changing socio-economic circumstances is highlighted by changing attack methods. Earlier within the quarter, there was a pointy decline in human-driven attacks originating from low-cost ‘sweatshop’ resources. this is often attributed to early lockdowns in traditional fraud hubs within Asia.

Major spikes in fraudulent activity at the top of the quarter, once lockdowns were fully forced, were largely driven by automation. Automated attacks are easier to proportion quickly, allowing fraudsters to quickly cash-in in the changing digital landscape.

However, localized pockets of sweatshop-driven activity show that economic hardships will cause new fraud hubs emerging. for instance , there was a pointy spike in human-driven fraud originating from Italy and Peru directly after lockdowns were announced.

Just as the company world adjusts to performing from home, so does the planet of fraud – tapping into an increasingly distributed network of resources to hold out attacks.

“COVID-19 is shaping up to be a subsequent big impetus for digital transformation across industries, as widespread lockdowns and social distancing mandates increase global reliance on the digital economy,” said Vanita Pandey, VP of Strategy at Arkose Labs.

“As face-to-face interactions dwindle, digital attack vectors are multiplying at a record rate, creating almost perfect working conditions for fraudsters, who are grasping every available opportunity to take advantage of both individuals and enterprises during the crisis.”
2020 attack rate: Impact across industries

With changes in consumer behavior thanks to COVID-19 varying drastically across the industries, fraudsters are shifting their focus accordingly. Top targets for online fraud within the coronavirus era include:

  • Retail and travel: The attack rate has doubled from 13% of transactions to 26%, driven by attacks on eCommerce companies as travel tailed off thanks to restrictions.
  • Gaming: With a 30% rise in gaming traffic, the industry was hard hit with a 23% increase in attack rates.
  • Information technology: As both personal and professional collaboration and communication shifts online, attacks on tech platforms have risen 16%. Fraudsters looking to blend in with this traffic ramped up their attacks by 25% on new account registrations.

COVID-19 fraud predictions

Based on trends from the primary quarter of the year, there are several predictions on the continued effects of COVID-19 on fraud a transaction patterns:

A continued, dramatic rise in attacks as fraudsters cash in of economic uncertainty and new individuals have pushed into cybercrime thanks to high unemployment.
Automation to drive the majority of the rise in fraud, as low-skill fraudsters who are new the sport cash in of online tutorials and user-friendly, inexpensive fraud toolkits.
A wider pool of sweatshop labor available with a move faraway from traditional fraud hubs to a distributed model of ‘guns for hire’ across the world.
New attack vectors to emerge as opportunistic fraudsters widen their reach amidst the pandemic.
The exploitation of vulnerable individuals with a spike in social engineering and phishing scams targeting new users within the digital economy

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