Human-initiated fraud attacks declined in 2020, while bot attacks accelerated, according to an analysis by LexisNexis Risk Solutions (LNRS). In its H2 2020 Cybercrime Report, the Atlanta-based antifraud technology provider looked at nearly 50 billion transactions that crossed its network last year and found 184 million fewer human-initiated fraud attacks in 2020 than in 2019. At the same time, bot attacks grew by 100 million. Account openings were particularly vulnerable to attack, the report found.
From July through December 2020, LNRS’s Digital Identity Network saw a 29 percent increase in global transaction volume. E-commerce led the way with a 38 percent increase in transaction volume compared to the year before. At the same time, e-commerce merchants experienced the largest increase in bot attacks of any sector and a very high attack rate for mobile app payments.
Account creation attacks increased across the board, but media companies were attacked in this manner more than other industries. According to the report, streaming services, gaming sites and gambling sites were popular with fraudsters to test stolen identities.
“Cybercriminals are opportunists first and masters of disguise second. They are always on the lookout for a new target whether this is new lines of credit, new online businesses or new-to-digital consumers,” said Rebekah Moody, director of fraud and identity for LexisNexis Risk Solutions. “While digital businesses are working hard to better provide for new and existing customers, they must identify and mitigate potential risks moment by moment in order to protect consumers from becoming victims of fraud. Building a layered defense is key.”