LexisNexis Risk Solutions has released its latest Cybercrime Report, which examines the period from July to December of 2020 and provides more insight into the effects of COVID-19. The findings are based on an analysis of the transaction data from the LexisNexis Digital Identity Network, which processed 47.1 billion transactions in 2020.
The report found that there was a massive decrease (184 million) in the number cyberattacks initiated by humans. However, that drop was offset by the increase (100 million) in bot attacks, many of which originated in the United States and many of which targeted the e-commerce sector, which had a 2.7 percent attack rate for payments through mobile apps. That finding is in keeping with a previous Cybercrime Report that found that fraudsters had been launching more attacks on mobile channels.
The volume of digital transactions was up 29 percent in the second half of 2020 over the second half of 2019, with financial services, e-commerce, and media seeing the biggest gains. Of those, media sites (such as streaming applications) had the highest rates of new account fraud, since criminals regularly used them to test stolen identity information. Meanwhile, the rising number of digital transactions offers yet more evidence of the impact of COVID-19, insofar as pandemic lockdowns forced people to take much of their shopping online.
Interestingly, the report found that customers under the age of 25 were the most likely to be the victims of fraud attacks, though the average losses in those attacks was lower than it was for older generations, if only because older people tend to have more disposable income. Those 75 and older faced the second highest attack rate, and experienced the biggest monetary losses as a result. Both the younger and older generations include a large number of people signing up for certain digital services for the first time, which could make them more susceptible to various scams that a more savvy user might avoid.
“Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for a new target whether this is new lines of credit, new online businesses or new-to-digital consumers,” said LexisNexis Risk Solutions Fraud and Identity Director Rebekah Moody. “Uniting the best digital identity intelligence with physical identity solutions and behavioral biometrics intelligence can be the gamechanger that organizations need to lessen the unpredictable tides of fraud.”
LexisNexis Risk Solutions is one of the many organizations that reported an increase in fraud in the wake of COVID-19. The company added behavioral biometrics to its ThreatMetrix identity verification in March of 2020.
February 23, 2021 – by Eric Weiss