Cybercrime Results Are In and The Winner Is…

Feb 12, 2019 | by Heidi Bleau

If there is one trend to glean about where cybercrime is headed in 2019, it would be an upward trajectory across all facets.  In fact, if cybercrime were a real business, it might be one stock market enthusiasts would consider investing in. At least that is what the 2018 data has shown.  From phishing attacks and mobile fraud to cybercrime on social media, attacks grew in every category. 

Some highlights from the latest RSA® Quarterly Fraud Report include:

  • Phishing accounted for 49 percent of all fraud attacks observed by RSA in Q4.  Canada, Spain, and the Netherlands were most targeted by phishing and represented 71 percent of total attack volume.  Most notably, Spain saw a 178 percent increase in phishing attacks from Q3 due to the launch of new instant transfer services among many of the leading banks in the region.
  • Total phishing volume increased 12 percent and social media and brand abuse attacks increased 43 percent in 2018. 
  • Total Trojan attacks detected by RSA in 2018 was 22,489, an 8 percent increase from 2017.
  • RSA detected 10,390 rogue mobile applications, an 11 percent increase over Q3r and 22 percent of total fraud attacks.
  • The overall number of fraudulent financial transactions increased 28 percent, with 70 percent originating in the mobile channel.
  • ard-not-present (CNP) fraud transactions increased 12 percent last quarter, and 80 percent of those originated from a new device. 
  • RSA recovered over 10.7 million unique compromised cards in Q4, a 96 percent increase from the previous quarter. 

There is no “winner” in cybercrime except for the fraudsters who profit.  Rather there are those who “lose” in the form of organizations and consumers impacted by financial loss.  This is why it is so important to understand the global cybercrime landscape and the fastest growing attack vectors in order to formulate an appropriate response to a cybersecurity risk that is draining billions from profits and the economy every year.

Social Media Fraud Continues to Flourish

While phishing continues to represent about half of all cyber attacks, social media fraud is the fastest growing – and most certainly one to continue watching for in 2019.  We saw this attack vector increase 43 percent last year, and it has been reported that fraudulent accounts now outnumber real business accounts on social media by more than two to one. 

Social media,  is not only being used to trade and sell illicit goods, lure potential victims, or as a channel for fraudsters to communicate.  It has now become a means for fraudsters to automate their activity.  The Telegram messaging app, due to its rich feature set and rapid global adoption, recently became a sought-after tool on the fraud scene.  Recently, RSA has been tracking a surge in the use of the Telegram bot feature by fraudsters to facilitate and automate their activities, the different types of fraud Telegram bots available today, and the Fraud-as- a-Service offerings that are helping the phenomenon spread.

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The social media fraud revolution continues to grow as fraudsters take advantage of these popular platforms for malicious activity.  Learn more about how fraudsters are leveraging the Telegram messaging app for cybercrime automation and get a complete snapshot of global fraud trends in the latest RSA Quarterly Fraud Report: Q4 2018.

Author: Heidi Bleau

Category: Research and Innovation, Blog Post

Keywords: Cybercrime, CNP, Fraud, Fraud Detection, Fraud Prevention, Malware, Mobile Fraud, Phishing