Digital commerce, crypto users’ now rich targets for cybercriminals – Report

Latest report by Visa Inc. has revealed that the budding digital commerce environment, vastly accelerated by the pandemic, remains the richest target for cybercriminals.

Two new pieces of research – the latest Visa Biannual Threats Report and an MIT technology review insights study, “Moving Money in a Digital World,” released on Tuesday in partnership with Visa, highlight new and returning threats to the post-pandemic economy, according to a statement from the company.

Nearly three-fourths of fraud and data breach cases investigated by Visa’s Global Risk team involved e-commerce merchants – often social engineering and ransomware attacks. Digital skimming attacks targeting e-commerce platforms and third-party code integrations are common.

According to the report, 42 per cent of respondents in the MIT Technology Review Insights report say security measures are important for their customers, with 59 per cent acknowledging that cybersecurity threats are the biggest challenge to expanding digital payments.

Beyond attacks on traditional currency, threat actors are employing new tactics to defraud cryptocurrency users, including new malware focused on browser extension wallets for crypto users as well as innovation in phishing and social engineering schemes.

Crypto bridge services are also a target. From January through February 2022, three sizable thefts exploiting vulnerabilities in various bridge services netted cyber thieves over $400 million.

“As in-person commerce returns to pre-pandemic levels, crooks are back to exploiting the physical points of vulnerability in stores, while continuing to capitalize on e-commerce through malware, ransomware, and phishing attacks, among others,” said Paul D. Fabara, Chief Risk Officer at Visa.

“In fact, we are continuing to see high rates of skimming growing over the already elevated levels of the winter of 2021, where fraudsters are jumping on the rise of in-person activity.”

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