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One Million Daily Cyber Attacks Predicted to Hit UK Retailers During Peak Christmas Shopping Period

Posted November 17, 2016

London – (17 November 2016)

50 million online attacks predicted globally over “Hack Friday” and “Cybercrime Monday” week as retailers brace for the biggest online Christmas ever seen.

UK retailers are expected to see a dangerous spike in online criminal activity in the run up to Christmas 2016. According to recent data from ThreatMetrix®, The Digital Identity Company®, over 20 million cyber attacks are expected to target online retailers and shoppers in the UK alone, across the last quarter of the year.

Data revealed today in the Q3 2016 Cybercrime Report indicates the latest trends across the global threat landscape. This is based on analysis from the ThreatMetrix Digital Identity Network® which protects more than 20 billion transactions across the globe every year.

2016 Festive Shopping Season Predictions:

  • 50 million global online attacks expected over Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping week.
  • Big retailers will see huge transaction peaks with up to 10 times the daily average on key shopping days.
  • 50 percent of ecommerce transactions will come from mobile as consumers use the convenience of mobile to make timely purchases.
  • Attacks will be on transactions with a 70 percent higher than average ticket size.
  • Bot attacks predicted to equal legitimate ecommerce customer traffic during key attack spikes in the last quarter of the year; global retailers are currently experiencing 5 million bot attacks every day.
  • Predicted 60 percent increase in fraudulent ecommerce transactions in Q4 2016 compared to Q4 2015.

“The ThreatMetrix Q3 2016 Cybercrime Report does a good job of depicting the escalating cyber attacks that merchants and financial institutions must deal with. Add to this the fact that more consumers than ever will shop online this holiday season, and 2016 promises to be a banner year for fraudsters,” said Julie Conroy, research director at Aite Group, the research and advisory firm. “It’s more important than ever for online merchants to employ technology that can help them effectively differentiate good customers from bad.”

Over the last 90 days, ThreatMetrix detected a huge 130 million attempted attacks, representing a 40 percent leap from the same quarter in 2015. This data strongly indicates that the final quarter of the year, in the run up to the Christmas holiday period, is likely to see more attacks on online business than ever before.

“Fraudsters are using the holiday shopping period to target high value items, such as mobile technology, game consoles and consumer electronics. We’ve seen the types of attacks evolve in sophistication as cybercriminals become more targeted with their approach. We expect the number of fraudulent attempts on ecommerce sites to be 60 percent higher than the same period in 2015,” commented Vanita Pandey, vice president, strategy and product marketing at ThreatMetrix.

UK retailers could lose millions and Cyber Monday to get hit the hardest:

IMRG members are making predictions that retailers will expand their deals and offers over a longer period of time this year. However, the major shopping days between now and Christmas, including Black Friday on 25th November through to Cyber Monday on 28th November, are still expected to become a particular target for online criminals.

Highlights from Q3 2016 Cybercrime Report:

  • During what is traditionally a slow quarter, ThreatMetrix analysed nearly 5 billion transactions, and stopped approximately 130 million attacks in real time — a 40 percent increase over 2015.
  • Mobile transactions grew almost 50 percent over the previous year to represent 43 percent of total network traffic.
  • Cross-border transactions are also on the rise, representing one in five transactions in the Network. Despite their growth, these transactions are considered riskier than domestic transactions and rejected twice as much.
  • Q3 2016 saw 76 million blocked e-commerce transactions — a 60 percent increase over the third quarter 2015.

About the ThreatMetrix Q3 2016 Cybercrime Report

The ThreatMetrix Q3 Cybercrime Report is based on actual cybercrime attacks from July to September 2016 that were detected by the ThreatMetrix Digital Identity Network during real-time analysis and interdiction of fraudulent online payments, logins and new account applications.

Additional Resources

About ThreatMetrix

ThreatMetrix®, The Digital Identity Company®, is the market-leading cloud solution for authenticating digital personas and transactions on the Internet. Verifying more than 20 billion annual transactions supporting 30,000 websites and 4,000 customers globally through the ThreatMetrix Digital Identity Network®, ThreatMetrix secures businesses and end users against account takeover, payment fraud and fraudulent account registrations resulting from malware and data breaches. Key benefits include an improved customer experience, reduced friction, revenue gain and lower fraud and operational costs. The ThreatMetrix solution is deployed across a variety of industries, including financial services, e-commerce, payments and lending, media, government and insurance.

For more information, visit or call 1-408-200-5755. Join the cybersecurity conversation by visiting the ThreatMetrix blog, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook pages.

© 2016 ThreatMetrix. All rights reserved. ThreatMetrix and the ThreatMetrix logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of ThreatMetrix in the United States and other countries. All other brand, service or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or owners.

Media Contacts

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