A new report from cybersecurity provider SpyCloud found a significant increase in the exposure of login credentials and personally identifiable information (PII) belonging to employees of Fortune 1000 companies. The study also found a 64 percent password reuse rate.
While SpyCloud is using the data to illustrate elevated cyber risk for the organizations in question, the report did mention that the employees were also consumers putting personal online accounts at risk. Account takeover, which has been a steadily growing problem for years, was identified by a recent report as the most common fraud type affecting e-commerce merchants and online bank accounts.
In addition to a significant increase in online activity in general since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, stolen login credentials and PII are the biggest source of fuel for ATO attacks. The SpyCloud research is one more data point that suggests ATO is not only still a concern for merchants, but one of their biggest fraud threats. According to some experts, though, merchants need to be more proactive in addressing it.
“Though ATO is more than a pathway to financial theft, trust and safety teams often consider it a downstream problem to be addressed only if and when payment abuse, unauthorized transactions, or similar activities occur—failing to act in the seemingly quiet period of time between the initial takeover and any clear signals of fraud,” said the authors of a recent analysis. “Fraudsters are keenly aware that this is often how ATO is handled by merchants. They understand that it can take a backseat until the attack is already in motion, and are exploiting that knowledge to do scalable damage; hijacking users’ credentials and loyalty points to sell on the dark web is only one piece of the puzzle.”