Redemptions of financial accounts are on the rise
Every second fraudulent transaction in the financial industry in 2020 was an account takeover, according to a new report from Kaspersky.
Anonymized statistics of events detected by Kaspersky Fraud Prevention from January to December 2020 revealed that the share of such incidents increased from 34% in 2019 to 54% in 2020. Two programs to access a bank account – “the rescuer” and ‘the investor’ – remain among the most common since 2019.
The importance of digital financial services and e-commerce increased in 2020, with people spending more time at home due to the pandemic. Kaspersky experts suggest that, in turn, this has caused an increase in social engineering techniques exploited by cybercriminals. That’s why it’s especially important that financial institutions and customers are aware of typical fraud schemes and are able to protect themselves, the company says.
In addition to the increase in successful account takeovers, in 12% of fraud incidents legitimate remote administration tools (RATs) such as TeamViewer were misused to attempt to access user accounts.
The Kaspersky Fraud Prevention team distinguishes that there were two common types of approaches used by attackers to gain access to accounts – the two extensions of similar trends noticed in 2019. The first tactic sees crooks pass themselves off for “the rescuer”, where they claim to be security experts. and stage scenarios to “save” users. They call bank customers posing as security guards and report suspicious charges or payments and offer to help.
The rescuer can ask clients to verify their identity by means of a code sent in a text message or push notification, to stop a suspicious transaction or to transfer money to a “secure account”. They can also ask a victim to install a remote management application claiming it is needed for troubleshooting. Scammers often pose as employees of the largest bank in the potential victim’s area and use a spoofed caller ID for inbound calls to impersonate a real bank.
The second example is where cybercriminals act as “the investor”. This scenario involves fraudsters pretending to be employees of an investment firm or investment consultants of a bank. They call customers by offering them a quick way to make money by investing in cryptocurrencies or stocks directly from the customer’s account, without having to go to a bank branch. As a prerequisite for providing the “investment service”, the investor asks the potential victim for the code received in a text message or push notification.
“Bank customers always place great importance on easy access to their accounts and the execution of regular financial transactions. And now that has become particularly important, ”says Claire Hatcher, Business Development Manager at Kaspersky Fraud Prevention.
“This is why we believe that solutions for the financial industry must provide a high level of security measures – including protection against fraud – which integrate seamlessly into the user experience,” he said. she.
“And of course, it’s worth reminding customers of the scammers’ techniques on a regular basis, so that they are likely to notice something.”
To help individuals and businesses stay protected against evolving fraud techniques, Kaspersky recommends that online services and retailers take the following steps:
- Limit the number of attempts to complete a transaction; cybercriminals may try multiple times to enter the correct credentials
- Educate your customers on the tricks criminals can use. Regularly send them information on how to identify fraud and how best to behave in this situation
- Perform annual security audits and penetration tests to detect security issues in a company’s network
- Have a team dedicated to fraud analysis capable of finding and analyzing new methods used by fraudsters
- Implement multi-factor authentication to minimize the risk of account takeovers
- Install a fraud prevention solution that can be quickly adapted to identify new attack patterns and methods