The number of financial attacks Phishing is expected to increase during the holiday season, which informally begins the so-called Black Friday (Black Friday) and continues on Cyber Monday (Digital Monday) and Christmas. Retrospective research by its experts Kaspersky Lab shows that over the past few years, the holiday season has increased in Phishing and other types of attacks, suggesting that the trend will be repeated again this year.
A peak period for sales is of course also a peak period for criminals and the hunt they do: the stores offer great deals and consumers plan to spend money on gifts for themselves, their friends and relatives. So, as e-commerce customers wish for the next discounts, shopkeepers themselves prepare their stores for a big increase in the number of visitors, and the owners of financial infrastructure - banks and payment systems - prepare for a huge increase in the number and value of transactions, so digital criminals are also preparing. At least, that was the trend in previous years.
As the Kaspersky Lab, 2014, and 2015 threats statistics show, the proportion of financial data (credit card information) scanned by the company in the fourth quarter (covering the holiday season) was about 9 percentage points higher than the average term for the year. Specifically, the result for financial phishing for all 2014 was 28.73%, while the result for the fourth quarter was 38.49%. 2015, 34.33% of all phishing attacks related to financial phishing, and in the fourth quarter, this kind of phishing was responsible for 43.38% of all attacks.
Celebrations affect the type of financial targets chased by criminals. Both 2014 and 2015, Kaspersky Lab researchers have seen a significant increase (of several percentage points) in phishing attacks against payment systems and online stores. Attacks on banks also increased, but at a lower rate.
In their attempt to steal payment data, criminals use different ways: they can create a fake payment page from a famous payment system, or copy authentic online store sites, or even create 100% fake stores with incredibly attractive bids.
And of course, criminals exploit the very spirit of "Black Friday". During a 2016 Threat Environment Survey, Kaspersky Lab researchers have identified a fake e-shop on "Black Friday", which offered products at attractive prices. Event that means weeks prior to the actual commencement of festive rebates, criminals are already being prepared.
"2014, we conducted a survey of how the threat environment behaves Phishing during the holidays, and we discovered that the number of attacks against specific targets - payment systems and renowned chain stores - increased during the period Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 2015, this trend has been repeated and this makes us believe that 2016 will happen again. So we urge consumers to be as careful as possible when shopping from Internet this period"Said Andrey Kostin, senior web content analyst at Kaspersky Lab.
To avoid falling victim to phishing attacks in the upcoming Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas, Kaspersky Lab specialists advise the following:
- Do not click on links you receive from strangers or on suspicious links that you receive from friends on social networks or via email. They may be malicious, crafted to download malicious software on your device, or lead to phishing websites that are designed to collect your data.
- Do not enter your credit card information on unknown or suspicious websites to avoid giving them to the hands of digital criminals. If these sites offer great discounts that seem very good to be true, they are most likely to belong to criminals.
- Always check that the website is authentic before entering your data or confidential information (at least look at the URL). False sites may look just like the real ones.
- Install a security solution on your device, with built-in technologies designed to prevent financial scams. For example, Safe Money technology in Kaspersky Lab solutions creates a secure environment for financial transactions at all levels.
Phishing is one of the most common digital threats that users may encounter during the holidays, but it is not the only one. Read more about other types of threats to customers, shopkeepers, and banks that may be emerging in the upcoming Festive Period in the Digital Threat Review of the Festive Period by Kaspersky Lab on the dedicated website Securelist.com.
Read more about what businesses can do to protect themselves from digital threats during the holiday season Kaspersky Business Blog.