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ThreatMetrix Cites Mobile Devices as a Growing Cybersecurity Concern for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Posted November 20, 2012

Mobile Transactions Increase Dramatically Across Smartphones, Posing Serious Threat to Retailers and Consumers

San Jose, CA – November 20, 2012 – ThreatMetrix™, the fastest-growing provider of integrated cybercrime prevention solutions, today released data on the year-over-year breakdown in top cybersecurity concerns for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. ThreatMetrix found a dramatic growth in transactions originating from mobile devices and advises retailers to be prepared for fraudsters who increasingly target these devices.

Analyzing the ThreatMetrix™ Global Network that profiles more than 40 million devices daily, ThreatMetrix found that mobile transactions as a percentage of total transaction volume has increased from November 2011 to November 2012. The iPhone continues to be a leader in mobile transactions, whereas Palm transactions have all but disappeared. Over the past year, mobile transactions have increased by 11 percent for the iPhone, 53 percent for Windows and 7 percent for Android. Conversely, mobile volume has decreased by 81 percent for the Blackberry. Combined, the iPhone and Android consist of 96.4 percent of the market share in mobile transactions, leaving little room for other competitors.

“Mobile consumers typically store their credit card information in retail accounts, rather than entering the information during each transaction, making online retail account takeovers more profitable, and therefore, more attractive to fraudsters,” said Alisdair Faulkner, chief products officer, ThreatMetrix. “During the holiday season in particular, consumers find it much more convenient to keep credit card information stored online as they make such a high volume of purchases. This is especially risky if consumers use the same email address and password for several websites – doing so initiates a trail of destruction that is equivalent to unlocking every door in the house, easily allowing criminals to hack numerous accounts at once.”

Top Fraud Concerns For Retailers this Black Friday and Cyber Monday

While cybercriminals have targeted online retailers and banks for years, the risk of cyberattacks is exacerbated by mobile device use. On average, consumers log into retail and banking accounts twice as much per month on their mobile devices than they do on their personal computers, and this number only multiplies during the holiday season. Since mobile transactions take place in real-time and most retailers do not have a system in place to manually accept or reject all suspicious transactions, the uptick of mobile usage increases the risk of fraud.

ThreatMetrix has identified several fraud concerns that retailers should keep top-of-mind during Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2012, with mobile transactions leading the way:

Mobile transactions are projected to reach $1 trillion by 2017 according to a new report by market research firm IDC Financial Insights, making consumers more vulnerable to fraud and malware attacks on mobile devices. As consumers continue making large volumes of mobile purchases and retailers do not have the time to closely monitor every transaction for suspicious activity, mobile opens the door to fraudsters during the holiday season now more than ever.

Account takeover is a major concern for retailers this holiday season because of the significant increase in mobile usage. Many retailers are not equipped to efficiently secure mobile transactions with an exponentially larger volume of transactions during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, making consumers’ account and credit card credentials vulnerable to cybercriminals if retailers don’t act fast and execute a mobile security strategy.

Clean fraud passes a retailer’s typical security screens and appears to be a legitimate transaction, when in reality, the transaction may be fraudulent and the result of a cybercriminal hiding behind a virtual private network (VPN). During Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the rest of the holiday season, many consumers travel with their mobile devices. Since fraudsters hide behind an IP address to mask their true geographic location, it is more difficult for retailers to tell which transactions are authentic.

“Cybersecurity should be a top priority for retailers this Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the rest of the holiday season,” said Faulkner. “Especially with so many consumers traveling at this time, retailers need to put forth extra effort to assure transactions are originating from authentic networks. The last thing retailers and consumers want is to wake up on Black Friday with a ‘turkey hangover’ and a compromised credit card.”


Cybercrime Battle Basics – Online Account, Transaction and Device Protection Whitepaper

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.

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Media Contacts:

Dan Rampe
Tel: 408-200-5716

Meghan Reilly
Walker Sands Communications
Tel: 312-445-9926



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