Mobile app fraud on the rise

Since 2015 there has been a 680 per cent increase in mobile app fraud transactions according to new research from RSA Security.

The firm’s Q1 2018 Fraud Report provides analysis of consumer fraud data from the RSA Fraud and Risk Intelligence team and offers an insider look at today’s cyber fraud environment.  

RSA’s report highlights how cybercriminals have moved away from the desktop and turned to mobile apps and social networks.  The use of traditional web browsers to carry out fraudulent transactions has declined significantly, dropping from 62 per cent in 2015 to 35 per cent in 2018.   

Mobile has become the new hunting ground for cybercriminals and the number of fraudulent transactions carried out via a mobile app has jumped from just 5 per cent in 2015 to 39 per cent during the first quarter of 2018. Hackers have also begun to use burner phones to try and avoid detection with 82 per cent of fraudulent e-commerce transactions originating from a new device in Q1 2018.

Additionally fraudsters are using new accounts with these new devices as was the case with 32 per cent of all fraudulent transactions during the quarter. This suggests that they are now using stolen identities to create “money mule” accounts as part of their cashing out process. 

RSA’s findings also revealed that phishing remains the number one attack method for cyber criminals with phishing accounting for 48 per cent of all fraud attacks observed in Q1 2018.  Trojans are still in use as well with one in every four fraud attacks found to be using financial Trojan malware. 

Director at the RSA Fraud and Risk Intelligence Unit, Daniel Cohen provided further insight on the report, saying: 

“There has been a sharp rise in the volume of legitimate transactions carried out over mobile apps, so it’s only natural that hackers have followed suit in targeting mobile channels for fraud. Unfortunately, many mobile apps fail to build security from the ground up. This means cybercriminals and fraudsters are able to slip through the cracks, hijacking mobile applications and siphoning off credentials and funds. As mobile-related fraud continues to grow, consumers and businesses alike need to be aware of the risks.” 

As consumers and businesses have turned to mobile for many of their daily computing needs, so to have cybercriminals and we must be aware of this new threat to prevent falling victim to fraud online. 

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