UK Fraud Attacks Hit 20 Million in Q2

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Online fraud attempts have hit an all-time-high in the UK and globally, with 144 million attacks blocked worldwide by ThreatMetrix in the past three months.

The anti-fraud service provider monitors over 24 billion online transactions each year, so it’s in a good position to observe industry trends.

In the UK, attack levels rose 150% since the same period in 2015 to reach 20 million by the end of the second quarter, according to the ThreatMetrix Q2 Cybercrime Report.

VP of strategy, Vanita Pandey, told Infosecurity Magazine that the UK’s position as a European hub for payments and e-commerce, host to some of the world’s largest financial institutions, makes it an attractive target.

“Also, one trend we have seen is that the recent breaches that have made identity data available to the fraudsters have impacted developed digital economies more than others. The reason is that the breaches have exposed consumer data primarily for the banked and digital native population who tend to reside in countries like UK,” she explained.  

“Fraudsters not only have access to everyone’s personal information, they also have the ability to periodically refresh the information by leveraging new breaches that have become commonplace.”

Online sectors such as social media, media streaming and ride-sharing have been hit particularly hard over the past quarter, thanks to their popularity and often limited anti-fraud/security features, said ThreatMetrix.

There were 2.6m such fraud attempts in the UK digital media sector alone, the firm claimed.

Fraudsters are targeting these sites both to test stolen credit card details for eventual use elsewhere, and to sell wholesale account access online, Pandey explained.

In the ride-sharing space, some fraudsters are taking trips using stolen credit cards and some have even been able to use fake driver accounts to accept ‘customers’ using stolen cards. Some have even been attempting to launder money via false insurance claims, the vendor claimed.

“The attacks on the UK are both from fraudsters inside and outside the country,” Pandey concluded. 

“The UK has consistently featured as the top attack originator and destination since the beginning of the report.”

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