Thursday , August 5, 2021

On the First Day of Christmas Shopping, the Bots Came to Town in Droves

Bots operated by criminals did more than leave lumps of coal for merchants and consumers this holiday shopping season. During Black Friday week, criminals used mobile devices to create new accounts to mimic new customers and initiate transactions through an established and seemingly genuine account, according to LexisNexis Risk Solutions.

LexisNexis highlighted the bot activity for the peak shopping season. Earlier this year, the firm’s research found that bot attacks targeting new e-commerce account creations increased 171% year-over-year. As the holiday-shopping season approaches its last weekend, Black Friday and Cyber Money fraud data is still being released.

Atlanta-based LexisNexis Risk Solution said one U.S. payment processor recorded a sustained 2,000% increase in bot traffic from Nov. 27 through Dec. 3.

And while mobile is a growing focus for criminals, desktop transactions continue to garner the most attention. LexisNexis Risk Solutions said desktop attack volumes remained high—in the first half of the year the rate was 3.4% of transactions on desktop versus 1.4% on mobile—and in proportion to transaction volumes. 

Criminals during the Black Friday week also aimed for larger average transactions. At least it appears so based on the $329 average value of shopping-cart transactions rejected as having a high risk of fraud—much higher than the $118 average value of legitimate transactions in the period.

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