The holiday season may experience rise in the number of financial phishing attacks, Kaspersky Lab ZAO [announced].
Retrospective research by Kaspersky Lab specialists shows that "over the last few years, the holiday period was marked by an increase in phishing and other types of attacks, which suggest the pattern will be represented this year," the cyber-security firm said.
"A peak season for sales is obviously is also a peak season for criminals: retailers offer lots of hard-to-resist deals and people plan on spending money on gifts for themselves, their friends and relatives."
Cybercriminals see the holiday season as an opportunity, the firm explained. During this time, e-commerce customers flood retailers, who store more goods in anticipation for growth in demand. As banks and payment systems are expecting rise in the number and value of transactions, "cyber criminals are preparing, too," Kaspersky Lab said. "At least, that was the case in previous years."
In 2014 and 2015 the number of phishing pages tracking credit-card credentials in the fourth quarter (Q4) covering the holiday season was 9 percent higher than the annual average, the firm said.
"In particular, the result for financial phishing in all of 2014 was 28.73 percent, while the result for Q4 was 38.49 percent,' Kaspersky Lab said. 'In 2015 34.33 percent of all phishing attacks were financial phishing, while in Q4, that type of phishing was responsible for 43.38 percent of all attacks."
Cyber criminals use a number of plots to steal payment data, the firm explained. Some develop counterfeit versions of payment pages of known and legit payment systems. 'They copy legitimate online retailer sites or even create 100-percent fake shops with incredibly attractive offerings,' Kaspersky Lab said. The firm conducted investigations into the phishing threat landscape during the holiday season, said Andrey Kostin, the firm's senior web-content analysts.
"The number of attacks against particular targets-payment systems and famous retail networks-increased during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period,' he noted. 'In 2015 the situation repeated itself, and this makes us think that in 2016 it will happen again. So we urge users to be as cautious as possible when shopping online this season."
Meanwhile, the threat to legitimate online retailers in the Philippines is growing, Isaac Sabas, CEO of Pandora Security Labs, a homegrown cyber-security provider, said in a recent interview. Some of the attacks were traced to other countries, which include China, Romania and Germany, Sabas said.
Small enterprises are facing threats, since attackers assume these organizations do not employ state-of-the-art cyber-security measures or no safeguard at all, he added.
The holiday season had started on November 25, and would continue through Cyber Monday and Christmas.
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