Social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp are emerging as the new public square for criminal deception by cyber criminals. A study ‘Current state of Cybercrime -2019’ released by RSA Security has found that social media fraud increased by 43% in 2018.
According to the RSA report, cyber criminals are increasingly relying on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and other legitimate social media and messaging platforms to communicate with each other and sell stolen identities, credit card numbers and other ill-gotten gains.
Legitimate platforms ease illegitimate transactions
The report says that ‘given the ease of use, absence of fees and other benefits of these social media platforms, continuation of this trend in 2019 should come as no surprise. Trade in stolen identities would gain greater momentum with more stores likely opening on legitimate platforms to sell this type of data, the study said.
According to researchers, fraud in the mobile channel has grown significantly over the last several years, with 70% of artifice originating in the mobile channel in 2018. The RSA study has found that frauds from mobile apps increased 680% between 2015 and 2018. The use of rogue mobile applications to defraud consumers was also on the rise.
While one out of five cyber-attacks was attributed to rogue mobile apps in 2018, RSA identified an average of 82 rogue mobile applications a day last year across popular app stores.
Frauds via mobile channels are popular amongst cyber criminals
“We expect the popularity of the mobile channel for fraud will continue through 2019, especially as cyber criminals keep finding ways to introduce tactics and technologies such as phishing and malware to the mobile channel,” the report said.
RSA expects that digital transformation will continue to unfold for both legitimate businesses and the cyber criminals who target them for fraud. It says that during 2019 it expects the following three trends to evolve further and grow even more prevalent as organisations continue to leverage the mobile channel to deliver new digital services to customers. A