Chinese Hackers Linked to Fraudulent Black Friday Attacks


Following the recent hack attacks launched on the Black Friday purchases, an investigation conducted has revealed that most of these fraudulent acts were staged by Chinese and Russian hackers. According to the report, China is strongly involved in about 57% of the Black Friday purchases hack in the last two years. This is not much surprising as China has often been suspected to be involved in a number of cyber-attacks contributing to the recent high incidents recorded. The report released by the TransUnion Fraud Detection Subsidiary Lovation noticed that hacking incidents related to online retail increased by 29% compared to the figure recorded in 2018.

Black Friday Purchases

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Interestingly, another report titled as Global Incidence Response Threat published by the VMware Carbon Black identified China as the second most active instigator of cyber-attack in 2019 in addition to the recent Black Friday purchases fraud. China was involved in 18% of cyber-attacks recorded, behind Russia which accounts for 29% of the cyber-attacks. North Korea, Brazil, and Iran were also mentioned as the most prolific instigators of cyber-attack.

The report established that 90% of the attacks were launched with the primary motive of financial gains. This was a fast increase from 61% of the first quarter of 2019 when attacks were launched with the primary aim of obtaining customer information and theft of intellectual property. 

The TransUnion Fraud Detection Subsidiary Lovation revealed that suspected e-commerce attacks increased by 60% from 2017. The report also stated that 25% of Black Friday purchases were suspected to be fraudulent. Similarly, 21% of Cyber Monday purchases were suspected to be fraudulent, against 17% of Saturday and 19% of Sunday purchases. Based on the statistics, China was found to have had a lot of sources of fraudulent attacks of 57%. The report also accused the Central African Republic to be involved in 57% of the fraudulent attacks unleashed on the Black Friday purchases, whiles Lebanon was linked with 47%.

Multiple investigations have traced the source of a number of cyber-attacks to China, with a Cybersecurity firm, Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 Cybersecurity Threat Team also linking most fraudulent incidents to a single Chinese threat actor PKPLUG. According to this firm, a lot of hacking incidents linked to other groups were certainly launched by this individual is a key instigator of most cyber-attacks. Research has linked the recent record of cyber-attacks to the increasing sophistication and maliciousness of threat actors.

Custom malware used in 33% of the attacks at the beginning of the year has increased, having been used in about 41% of the attacks in the final quarter of the year mostly in the Black Friday purchases fraud. It was further discovered that Jumping between vulnerable intermediaries to reach victims, technically known as the “Island Hopping” increased by 5% from the beginning of the year to about 41% of the attacks.

Black Friday Purchases

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Cybercriminals are constantly updating their skills to match the recent introduction of advanced cybersecurity tools, making it very important to heavily invest in cybersecurity. The analysis blamed the dark web for contributing to the sales of advanced hacking capabilities and services. It was stated that this poses a huge risk to victims with decentralized systems protecting high-value assets. Some of these include states secrets, intellectual property, and money.

Recently, Airbus Cyber-attacks was linked to the Chinese State-sponsored hacking group targeting key suppliers in a bid to obtain the secured data.
Statistically, 2019 recorded an accelerated increase in cybercrime compared to the previous with some of them linked to the bull run of the Bitcoin price in 2019, enticing criminals to obtain these valuable assets by either demanding ransom in Bitcoin or stealing them directly from exchanges and investors’ sellers. It is expected that individuals and organizations pay attention to the common methods employs by hackers to avoid becoming victims.

Source: CSO

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