In 2021, disruption caused by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which led to record numbers of online transactions as people continued to grapple with restrictions worldwide, led to more fraud across more sectors than ever before, according to a new report from Arkose Labs.
In its 2022 State of Fraud and Account Security report, San Francisco-based Arkose Labs, which focuses on protecting companies from malicious bots enabling credential stuffing and account takeover fraud, found ATO has become an even bigger problem than it was before the pandemic.
Login attacks, many leveraging bots to automate the process of validating credentials and illegally accessing accounts with stolen information, increased 85 percent in 2021 from already record highs in 2020—the pandemic’s first year. The research found that every fifth login attempt across its network was an account takeover attack. And one out of every four new account registrations was fake, according to the Arkose Labs analysis.
“The increase in frequency and severity of fraud last year was higher in 2021 than any other year we’ve monitored, which is especially jarring considering how extraordinary 2020’s numbers were,” said Vanita Pandey, chief marketing officer for Arkose Labs. “The Arkose Labs Global Network’s most recent threat intelligence shows an eye-opening 21 percent of all online traffic was an attack, with nearly every industry seeing stark increases in every type of attack across nearly every industry.”
The research found an unsurprising link between high customer engagement in certain sectors and increased fraudulent activity. Travel, for example, saw the biggest increase in 2021 compared to 2020 as people began to travel again after staying home for much of 2020.
Arkose noted several other prominent trends merchants should be aware of:
- Intelligent bots that mimic human behavior are becoming more prominent
- Bot attacks are becoming more volatile and happened mostly during November
- Companies building games and products for the ”metaverse” should be wary of microtransaction abuse and unfair play
- While Russia is still a major source of attacks, Asia took the top spot in 2021