Mobile apps now the go-to for hackers but ID fraud drops

Mobile apps now the go-to for hackers but ID fraud drops

According to RSA Security’s latest quarterly global fraud report, rogue mobile apps have become the most common fraud attack vector. According to their figures fraud perpetuated on mobile browsers and mobile apps made up 71% of total fraudulent transactions recorded in Q2 2018, compared to 61% in Q2 2017.

In all RSA Security detected 9,185 rogue apps which accounted for 28% of all fraudulent attacks recorded. This in comparison with 8,000 rogue apps in the previous quarter.

RSA logged 5.1 million unique compromised cards and card previews in dark web cybercrime bazaars and other sources during Q2 2018. An estimated 60% increase in cards recovered by RSA in the previous quarter.

According to their figures the average value of fraudulent transactions in Europe was £308 compared to £134 for legitimate purchases. In the UK the average fraudulent transaction was estimated at £280 compared to £152 the previous quarter.

But in welcome news, Cifas, the UK’s fraud prevention service, has revealed that ID fraud had dropped to a four-year low.

According to Cifas, their members recorded 84,463 cases of identity fraud in the first six months of the year, a 5% fall from the previous period.

Reductions were seen in fraudulent attempts against bank accounts and mobile phone contracts. However, both plastic card and online retail account fraud increased during the same period.

Identity fraud cases reached record levels in 2017, therefore it is positive that we have seen an overall reduction in the first six months of the year. However, these new figures demonstrate that identity fraudsters adapt quickly to try and circumvent security measures. The re-targeting of plastic cards following a drop in 2017, is a prime example of this.

With identity fraud remaining uncomfortably high, more personal information available online and increasing numbers of data breaches, the protection of personal data must be viewed as a collective responsibility.

Everyone should play their part, from individuals to organisations taking steps to protect personal data to businesses ensuring their fraud prevention practices effectively defend against evolving tactic employed by identity fraudsters.

- Sandra Peaston: Director of Strategy, Policy and Insight, Cifas

Identity fraud happens when nefarious criminals poses as an innocent individual to buy or open an account in their name. Many times, a victim is completely unaware this is happening until a bill arrives or they experience problems with their credit rating.

Generally, fraudsters need to obtain personal data on the victim and they generally gain this through stealing mail through hacking or through sites on the dark web, social media or through social engineering where the victim is tricked into handing over sensitive data.


A veteran freelance journalist writing extensively on internet news and cybersecurity.
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