August 23, 2016 by

Holiday P2P Platforms Targeted by CyberCriminals


A report has revealed that peer-to-peer (P2P) media platforms related to holiday media have seen a soaring spike in fraudulent activity ahead of the upcoming holiday season.

Review websites and other P2P media platforms that see users connecting with each other to share files and media are becoming a major target for cyber criminals, according to a report by digital identity firm ThreatMetrix.

The report, which monitors some 20 billion online transactions each year has revealed that fraudulent new account registrations had increased 350% in the second quarter of 2016. In the run up to the summer holiday season, that represented a tremendous increase compared to the same period in 2015.

Everyday users and consumers are increasingly gravitating toward P2P marketplaces, trusting user-generated content over that of organizations and brands. This shift in trend has caught the attention of cybercriminals and it shows. Nearly a quarter of media transactions in Q2 2016 were rejected, representing a 92% increase over 2015 with cybercriminals attempting to set up accounts to create content spewing spam and malware.

The Q2 cybercrime report also revealed that 10% of account creations in Europe are now rejected, in an age when multiple high-profile data breaches are commonplace.

That rejection rate shows the increased scrutiny on new account signups, with fraudsters setting up new user accounts with stolen identities that are readily available on the dark web. The setting up of  marks an increase of 123% since 2015 alone.

Vanita Pandey, vice-president of strategy and product marketing at ThreMetrix offered further insight into the strategies and impact of cybercriminals targeting P2P platforms.

“Using compromised and stolen identities from recent breaches and social engineering hacks, fraudsters are able to exploit these platforms and readers,” she stated.

While there is no direct victim of malicious or false content, the impact is extensive, and over the past few months we’ve seen and stopped millions of compromised identities being tested each day by cyber criminals and bots mimicking the behaviour of trusted customers.

Image credit: Pexels.

About the author

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LIFARS is the global leader in Digital Forensics and Cyber Resiliency Services. Our experience spans two decades working on high profile events, often in concert with Law Enforcement Agencies around the world. Our proprietary methodology derives directly and indirectly from our experience working with and for U.S. Intelligence Agencies, Interpol, Europol, and NATO. We are solely dedicated to Cyber Resiliency and thus pay close attention to all aspects of our clients’ engagements experience while providing a strategic and integrated array of services to minimum risk and disruption while protecting your brand.

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