ahead Black Friday and Cyber Monday The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warns that Cyberspace is becoming more volatile than ever as scammers capitalize on a surge in buying activity.
As cybercriminals refine their tactics, more than 250 retailers have already been taken advantage of by “free bots” – a new program that automatically snatches incorrectly priced items – while countless consumers have been scammed by fake websites impersonating themselves. for legitimate brands.
But fortunately, as the ecommerce landscape turns into a wild wild west, are ways stay safe online. Read on to learn about these new cyber threats and how to avoid them.
Freebie bots cashing in on retail mistakes
Armies of bots have been flooding the Internet for some time now, but according to security experts at Kasada, a new type of bot has recently emerged that is specifically targeted at retail businesses.
Emerging scam software known as “free bots” began circulating online ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday holidays this year. They work by automatically scanning retail websites for mispriced items before buying them in bulk and selling them for a profit.
“The addition of free bots creates another headache for retailers that directly affects their revenue as they are forced to fulfill orders made with pricing errors,” Kasada researchers.
And the impact of free bots on business is quite serious. After using these scam bots, retailers are bound to fulfill orders. In addition to loss of profit (which can be significant), it can also increase infrastructure costs and damage brand reputation.
Free bots have used the technique to purchase more than 100,000 items from 250 businesses in the past month for a total retail value of $3.4 million, according to Kasada.
Fake websites try to scam buyers on Black Friday
Bots are not the only cyber threat to watch out for this Black Friday. As consumers flock to the internet for big deals, a number of fake websites posing as legitimate retailers have also begun to emerge.
These fake sites, which tend to imitate well-known brands such as Louis Vuitton, directly send out emails to potential victims advertising discounts and one-time deals with catchy headlines like “Sales”.$100 tarts. You will fall in love with the prices.”
While fake websites have existed since the dawn of the Internet, Check Point researchers explain that they are multiplying ahead of the holiday season, attracting more consumers than ever.
According to Nelson Bradley, trust and security manager for Google Workspace, the rise in these fake sites is due to the sudden spike in spam and phishing emails, which have increased by 10% in the past two weeks.
So, as cybercrime tactics become more and more veiled, how can consumers and retailers not be scammed this holiday season?
How to avoid scams this Black Friday?
It’s typical for consumers to get more and more distracted this year. But since the cybercriminals are in a great game, CISA Director Jan Easterly recommends a number of safety precautions, including make purchases from trusted sources using secure purchasing methods, as well as using basic tools such as multi-factor authentication.
“Your cybersecurity should be treated the same as your physical security. Stay vigilant, take steps to protect yourself, and trust your instincts. If you see something that doesn’t look right, there’s a good chance it doesn’t.” CISA Director, Jen Easterly
And for businesses, learning the tactics and tools used by criminals is a sure way to stay one step ahead. This, of course, must be implemented along with a robust cybersecurity strategy that relies on a number of useful tools from virtual private networks (VPN) in password managers.