Fraud prevention firm ThreatMetrix claims to have stopped 112 million attacks globally in Q2 2016, a 50% increase on the same period a year ago, highlighting the industrial-scale nature of online fraud today.
The vendor’s Cybercrime Report for the period claimed the continued occurrence of major data breaches is feeding an insatiable appetite for global fraud.
These compromised identities are often tested online to ensure they still work, before being used to try and defraud companies and individuals out of money.
ThreatMetrix said that an increasingly popular way of performing this testing is to register new accounts on peer-to-peer media platforms using the stolen credentials to post fake reviews and other UGC.
“While there is no direct victim of malicious or false content, the impact is extensive,” argued Vanita Pandey, vice-president of strategy and product marketing at ThreatMetrix.
“Over the last few months we’ve seen and stopped millions of compromised identities being tested each day by cyber-criminals and bots mimicking the behavior of trusted customers.”
Nearly one in four media transactions were rejected by the vendor in Q2 ahead of the summer holiday season – a 92% increase on the 2015 figures.
In total, fraudulent new account registrations jumped 350% year-on-year in Q2, with bots increasingly used to help automate campaigns and evade traditional fraud sensors.
There was a 50% rise in bot attacks to 450 million detected and blocked by ThreatMetrix this quarter.
There’s also a trend towards mobile transactions, which can also offer the fraudsters opportunities, the firm claimed.
Mobile transactions are growing at a rate of 200% year-on-year, accounting for 58% of the total transactions in the UK – far higher than the global average of 40%.
Unsurprisingly, the UK is the top European attack destination, according to ThreatMetrix.