UPDATED 06:00 EST / OCTOBER 21 2020

credentialstuffing SECURITY

Report finds surge in cybercriminal activity targeting retail and hospitality

Cybercriminal activity has been increasing across the board in a year dominated by COVID-19, and a new report from Akamai Technologies Inc. details the rise in criminal activity targeted at the retail and hospitality sectors.

“The State of the Internet/ Security Report: Loyalty for Sale – Retail and Hospitality Fraud” details the current state of criminal activity targeting the retail, travel and hospitality sectors based on data covering attacks of all types and sizes between July 2018 and June 2020.

Using the recorded data, the report found that there was a large uptick in cyberattacks attacks starting in the first quarter of this year as COVID-19 lockdowns started. Criminals took advantage of the situation and circulated password combination lists, targeting each of the commerce industries featured in the report. During this time criminals also started recirculating old credential lists in an effort to identify new vulnerable accounts, leading to a significant uptick in criminal inventory and sales related to loyalty programs.

Between July 2018 and June 2020, Akamai recorded more than 100 billion of these credential-stuffing attacks, with the retail, travel and hospitality industries accounting for 63.8 billion recorded. More than 90% of the attacks in the sector targeted retail specifically.

In the period studied, Akamai recorded 4.4. billion attempted attacks in the three industries that attempted to gain access to sites using SQL Injection or Local File Inclusion attacks.

“As the global economy prepares for a holiday shopping season, it does so in an environment that has changed radically due to the pandemic,” the report states. “Consumers will not be standing outside of brick and mortar stores waiting for the latest deals in the same way they have in the past. They’re going to log in, collect their reward points and maybe use loyalty programs to gain some discounts or other perks just for being a member.”

Image: Akamai

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