- News & Events
August 7, 2013
WARNING: Because this is still early August, showing this blog to a younger student might precipitate an instant funk. Therefore, while we strongly recommend you (and older students who purchase products online) read this piece to avoid being a victim of cybercrime, please don’t show this to your younger student(s) until…oh…maybe the last week of August or first week of September — depending on when school opens.
The National Retail Foundation (NRF) says families will spend a combined total of $45.8 billion on school-related supplies this year. And, a big chunk of those purchases (31.7 percent) will be online.
“Cybercriminals follow the money and target consumers heavily during major shopping seasons,” said Mustafa Rassiwala, director, product marketing, ThreatMetrix. “With billions spent online for back to school shopping, fraudsters will steal money and sensitive information from online purchases. Additionally, the attacks are specifically targeted at a large unsuspecting and vulnerable online population – young adults.”
Following are the top back to school risks consumers have to be wary of:
• Phishing - Watch out for suspicious links on social media platforms that promote an “unbelievable offer” on a hot item, such as a tablet or smartphone. These links can lead to malicious sites that often mimic e-commerce sites like Walmart.com or Target.com and trick consumers into accessing personal accounts, thereby giving criminals access to personal information.
• Malware – Cybercriminals can install malicious code on a user’s machine without his/her knowledge. Sophisticated malware automatically tracks keystrokes when a consumer logs into online accounts – effectively and secretly stealing information. Students have to be very cautious when opening email attachments or downloading music and videos from suspicious sites. These are common mass channels used by cybercriminals for distributing malware.
• Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) Attack – A cybercriminal can covertly intercept a consumer’s online activity on a public Wi-Fi network. Young adults who tend to shop online for school supplies in public places need to make their purchases from a secure Internet connection.
• Gift Card Fraud – To control spending, giving students gift cards, rather than a cash budget, has become a popular choice among parents. Cybercriminals have caught onto the trend, and have taken a special interest in phishing and eavesdropping on Wi-Fi networks for gift card numbers. Because no account information is “tied” to the card, criminals can shop and ship without credit card information linking back to them. Consumers are advised to shop from secure URLs and limit use on public Wi-Fi networks.
To protect their consumers during the back to school shopping season, businesses should have a collective approach to cybercrime. This includes extensive screening for suspicious online transactions and leveraging data from a collective global network for real-time threat intelligence, such as the ThreatMetrix™ Global Trust Intelligence Network. Dubbed The Network for short, it’s the most comprehensive repository of information available anywhere for screening prior transactions and site visitors; and for authenticating customers and employees working remotely. Without compromising privacy or convenience, The Network provides threat data that offers insight into device and online personas’ positive and negative behavior. As such, it is the first and only real-time screen for online visitors using collaborative intelligence from thousands of websites and transactions.
ThreatMetrix is the fastest-growing provider of integrated web fraud and cybersecurity solutions. The TrustDefender™ Cybercrime Protection Platform helps companies prevent unauthorized access to web and mobile applications, protect sensitive data, and secure transactions against account takeover, payment fraud, identity spoofing, malware, and data breaches. ThreatMetrix protects more than 1,500 customers and 9,000 websites across a variety of industries, including financial services, enterprise, e-commerce, payments, social networks, government, and insurance. For more information, visit www.threatmetrix.com or call 1-408-200-5755.
To join in the cybersecurity conversation, follow us on Twitter @ThreatMetrix.
Posted by Dan Rampe
Tags: Account Takeover, CNP fraud, Cookieless Device Identification, Cookies, Cyber attacks, Device ID, Device Identification, Fraud Prevention, Gift Card Fraud, Hacking, Identity theft, Malware, Malware Protection, Man-in-the-Browser Detection, MitB, National Retail Federation, Online Fraud, Phishing, PII, ThreatMetrix, ThreatMetrix Cybercrime Defender Platform, ThreatMetrix Cybercrime Index, TrustDefender Cybercrime Protection Platform, Web Fraud