LexisNexis 2019 Cybercrime Report Finds Increase in Human-Initiated Attacks

Haywood Talcove, LexisNexis

LexisNexis Risk Solutions released its 2019 Cybercrime Report, which explores the latest global cybercrime trends from January to June, and highlights a shift toward networked, cross-organizational and cross-industry fraud.

The report uses the LexisNexis Digital Identity Network system built on cross-industry identity intelligence and analyzes millions of transactions in real-time across billions of devices for thousands of global digital businesses, according to LexisNexis.

In this report’s 6-month timeframe, the network recorded 16.4 billion transitions, and found 277 million were human-initiated attacks — a 13% increase from the second half of 2018. It also provided insight into the evolution of bot attacks targeting new accounts in media and e-commerce.

In terms of networked cybercrime, the report also found cybercrime networks appear when digital identities are associated with confirmed fraud attempts across more than one organization in the Digital Identity Network.

And organizations in the same industry are most intensely impacted.

For example, the report discusses how the network tracked a fraudster across three industries and six different organizations — financial services, media streaming company and a credit reporting agency — to create new accounts and make fraudulent payments in order to monetize stolen credentials and launder money.

The report also explored bot attacks, finding that fraudsters are now targeting new account creation transactions. This is the only transaction use case to show a growth in attacks during the first half of the year.

“Fraudsters are using these new account creation attempts to test, validate and build online identities for financial gain,” according to the report.

And in media, bot attacks targeting new account creations increased 65% in six months. The network showed these bonus abuse attempts were fraudsters trying to sign up for new accounts in order to capitalize on free trials and streaming bonuses to sell for profit.

E-commerce companies are also experiencing a 305% increase on bot attacks on new account creations, largely in online marketplaces, virtual gift card companies and ridesharing sites.

Another key finding was in mobile app registration – globally, attacks on mobile apps rose 148% in six months, and lean toward media organizations. Even as mobile proves more secure than desktop, fraudsters are using new mobile account creations and app registrations to intercept one-time passcodes to register mobile apps.

“This provides fraudsters with a wealth of personal information and bank account access,” the report explained.

And amid all these increasing and shifting cybercrime trends, LexisNexis does provide expert insight into how digital identity-based approaches to cybersecurity can reduce fraud and improve digital customer experience.

Because though the report focuses on the private sector, it’s a must-read for federal IT managers and law enforcement agencies, according to Haywood Talcove, CEO of Government for LexisNexis Risk Solutions.

“Agencies need to use a layered approach to cybersecurity if they want to remain protected,” he said. “A better solution includes three components: high-level digital identity intelligence, physical identity, and authentication capabilities.”

These three components, according to Talcove, will help agencies meet regulatory requirements, improve user experience and identify evolving fraud.

A full copy of the report can be downloaded here.

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