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ThreatMetrix Cybercrime Report: 80% Increase in Fraud Attacks Detected and Stopped Year-on-Year

Posted February 13, 2016

SAN JOSE, California – January 25, 2016

Quarterly report examines cybercrime attacks detected by the ThreatMetrix Digital Identity Network, that analyzes more 15 billion transactions each year

ThreatMetrix®, The Digital Identity Company™, today released its “ThreatMetrix® Cybercrime Report: Q4 2015.” From October through December 2015, The ThreatMetrix Digital Identity Network (The Network) detected and stopped more than 300 million cybercrime attacks in real time.

“In our post-breach world, where identities can be bought and sold, static identity assessment is dead.” said Vanita Pandey, senior director, strategy and product marketing at ThreatMetrix. “Botnet and malware attacks are so advanced that they mimic trusted user behavior. Identity authentication is under threat. Businesses must work harder than ever to verify true identity and minimize fraud losses.”

Financial Institutions Experience Growth in New Account Origination Fraud

Identity is a lucrative target for fraudsters. A successful stolen or synthetic identity is the key to multiple attack avenues. This trend can be seen in the surge of account origination fraud in financial services. ThreatMetrix detected and stopped over 21 million attacks during this period, a 40 % increase over 2014.

Mobile share of transactions grew apace as consumers continue to demand mobile banking platforms that can be accessed via connected devices. This also fueled a spike in login transactions as people accessed accounts on the go during the holiday season.

“Fraudsters saw their opportunity here,” says Pandey, “launching huge bot attacks testing stolen identities to gain access to consumer accounts.” ThreatMetrix detected and stopped and additional 45 million bot attacks during this period.

Digital Transactions Grow at the Expense of In-Store Sales in E-Commerce

The Q4 holiday season was huge. The Network detected and stopped approximately 58 million attacks on e-commerce merchants; a 124% increase over 2014. The recent move to Europay-Mastercard-Visa (EMV) chip cards in the U.S. will continue to drive more fraud to the digital channels.

“The outdated concept of shopping in store for Black Friday deals has well and truly migrated to the online space,” says Pandey. “Mobile usage often gets a bad reputation for taking time away from family life. During the holiday season we believe the data showed otherwise. Consumers spent more time in the comfort of their homes, shopping when it suited them and without missing the big deals.”

The knock-on impact was that fraudsters opened new accounts to make purchases using stolen credentials. Attacks grew 180% compared to 2014. Rejected basket values were also higher during the holiday season as fraudsters tried to capitalize on increased consumer spending. Trust is critical: The Network recognized around 85% of all returning customer devices, preventing fraud and minimizing friction.

Mobile Transaction Volume Reaches an All-Time High

Mobile transactions continue to grow at a phenomenal rate, (200% compared to 2014), as users make connected devices an integral part of their daily lives. They represented 34% of the total transactions analyzed and this growth came primarily from financial institutions.

Attack numbers also grew. The biggest increase came from identity spoofing attacks, which were significantly higher than the previous quarter. Digital Intelligence from The Network, coupled with powerful real-time analytics, allows the vast majority of mobile transactions to be verified in real time against trusted patterns of behavior.

“Digital businesses need digital identities,” says Pandey. “It’s no longer safe to rely on usernames and passwords to protect customer accounts. Businesses must adopt a holistic and layered approach to authenticating identity, leveraging the unique digital footprints that users leave as they transact online.”

The ThreatMetrix Digital Identity Network analyzes the myriad connections between a user’s devices, locations and anonymized personal information as they transact online. This builds a unique and trusted digital identity that fraudsters can’t fake. Leveraging the power of digital identities to establish trusted user behavior is the best way to authenticate user identity.

To learn more, download the “ThreatMetrix Cybercrime Report: Q4 2015” eBook.

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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 15 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, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter 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:
Jaci Robbins
Phone: 408-200-5718
Paul Wilke
Phone: 415-881-7995


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