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2018 Press Releases

February 12, 2018

Cryptocurrency Marketplaces Hit by a Spectrum of Attacks Amidst Major Shifts in Cybercrime, Reveals New ThreatMetrix Report

ThreatMetrix®, today revealed a 113 percent year-over-year increase in cyberattacks in Q4 2017, as both the volume and the nature of attacks transform.
 
The Battle for a Safe Cryptocurrency Market
The Q4 2017 Cybercrime Report reveals that cryptocurrency marketplaces, designed to facilitate trading on the full range of digital currencies, are experiencing a range of fraudulent activity. The world of cryptocurrency has moved from being the playground of the criminal underworld to be a prime target for attacks on legitimate transactions. 
 
Fraudulent new accounts are created using stolen or synthesized identities to set up mule accounts to launder money. Additionally, legitimate accounts are being hacked to make fraudulent payments and transfer cryptocurrency balances out when at their highest value.
 
“Cryptocurrency marketplaces need a more accurate way to verify the identity of new customers who open an account in order to prevent the infiltration of criminals,” said Vanita Pandey, Vice President of Product Marketing at ThreatMetrix. “Using intelligence from the ThreatMetrix Digital Identity Network, these marketplaces can better differentiate between good customers and fraudsters the moment they arrive, and thus see an immediate reduction in fraudulent activity on their platforms.”
 
From Russia and Vietnam Without Love
The Q4 2017 Cybercrime Report also revealed an increased volume of attacks originating from Russia and Vietnam, using both automated bots and location spoofing tools. In fact, for the very first time, Russia emerged as a top attack originator, with the majority of incidents targeting ecommerce retailers in the U.S. In addition, Vietnam was one of the top 5 attack originators for the first time ever, with a strong concentration of bot attacks on global merchants. Attacks from Vietnam targeted leading businesses in the US, UK, Australia, Singapore and Japan.
 
Key shopping days in Q4 over the holiday season saw up to 2 million bot attacks coming from Russia alone. These persistent, but increasingly sophisticated, attacks were primarily targeting top American retailers.
 
eCommerce Attacks: The Dark Side of the Holiday Season
 
The number of attacks on eCommerce during the fourth quarter of 2017 was 113 percent of the volume of attacks across all industries in the previous quarter, underscoring the pressure retailers are under during this period. Almost 193 million transactions were rejected as fraudulent, representing a 173 percent increase over the previous year.
 
The quarter also saw heavy bot activity from across the globe with more than 34 million attacks during the peak holiday shopping period. In addition to these 34 million attacks, ThreatMetrix recorded about 800 million bot attacks throughout the quarter, ranging from simple account validation attacks to sophisticated bots attempting to masquerade as legitimate customer traffic.