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Cyber ​​theft doubled in 2022 as Black Friday was targeted

The number of attacks via banking Trojans, software that steals payment data, has doubled in 2022 compared to 2021, reaching almost 20 million attacks so far this year.

Cyber ​​criminals have also developed new fraud schemes, specifically taking advantage of Black Friday, including a new type of phishing scheme that exploits BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) services for the first time.

These are some of Kaspersky’s findings How customers were scammed during the 2022 Black Friday season Report aimed at educating users about safety during sales season.

Banking Trojans are common tools in the arsenal of cybercriminals who profit from the sales season. Once user browses fake online store, the trojan saves all the data that the user enters into the website’s forms. This means cyber criminals gain access to a credit or debit card number, expiration date and CVV, as well as the victim’s website credentials. Having obtained this information, the attackers can empty the user’s bank account, use their card details for purchases, or sell the data on the dark web shops.

After a rapid decline in banking Trojan attacks in 2021, cybercriminals are returning to this type of threat with renewed vigour. In 2022, the number of attacks has doubled compared to the same period in 2021. From January to October, Kaspersky products detected and prevented almost 20 million attacks, which means that the overall growth in the number of detections is 92%.

Cyber ​​criminals create attractive offers that are fake and expire quickly, requiring the user to hurry to get the goods for free or at the lowest price. This is where cybercriminals are catching customers hungry for freebies who aren’t careful about which page they enter their details on: the phishing or the original page.

In 2022, Kaspersky experts also found numerous examples of phishing sites abusing BNPL services for the first time. These tools allow customers to split the acquisition cost into multiple interest-free installments. As such, these services appeal to consumers, particularly young shoppers, and have proven particularly popular during shopping periods such as Black Friday.

An example of this scam is the abuse of a popular service called Afterpay (Clearpay in the UK and Italy) with 20 million active users around the world. The perpetrators set up a page mimicking the official website and tricked unsuspecting victims into entering their credit card numbers and CVVs on a fake form. After the user enters their details, cyber criminals try to steal as much money as possible from this card and empty the victim’s wallet.

The phishing page impersonating Afterpay aims to gain access to a potential victim’s account

“The shopping event of the year – Black Friday – is a hot time not only for sellers and their buyers, but also for scammers who want to steal as much money as possible from rushed customers,” says Olga Svistunova, security expert at Kaspersky. “The new scheme exploiting “Buy Now Pay Later” (BNPL) services only proves that cyber criminals do not let up in their desire to target victims and create new methods to do so.

“On normal days, the customer can easily understand: if the product is too cheap, it is most likely a scam. But during the Black Friday sale period, that fact isn’t as clear. Shoppers are becoming less vigilant, making them an easy target for cyber criminals. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to which site you’re buying from, be wary of unknown companies, and use a reliable security solution.”

To learn more about Black Friday tricks and scams, read the full report on Securelist.

To stay safe on Black Friday, follow a few safety recommendations:

  • Protect all the devices you use to shop online with a reliable security solution. Do not trust links or attachments received via email; Verify the sender before opening anything.
  • Double check the e-shop websites before entering any information: Is the URL correct? Are there any spelling mistakes or design errors?
  • To protect your data and finances, you should ensure that the checkout page is secure and that a closed padlock is displayed next to the URL.
  • If you’re looking to buy something from an unfamiliar company, check the reviews before making a decision.
  • Although you’ve taken as many precautions as possible, you probably won’t know something is wrong until you see your bank or credit card statement. So if you’re still getting paper statements, don’t wait for them to reach your mailbox. Log online to see if all charges appear legitimate – if not, contact your bank or credit card company immediately to resolve the issue.

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