Thieves Target Black Friday/Cyber Monday Retailers

Legal Experts Warn Cyber Attack Threat Is High In Run Up To Christmas

27.11.2015

Kate Rawlings, Press Officer | 0114 274 4238

Legal experts are urging retailers hoping to cash in over Black Friday and Cyber Monday that cyber-thieves are preparing malware and spam campaigns to catch them out.

Specialists from the security industry have said that many criminal gangs are using the frenzied shopping event, which brackets the weekend following the US Thanksgiving holiday, when many online and offline stores offer special deals.

Security firm iSight has reported an update to software which thieves use to target tills in stores and there has been an increase in spam and phishing emails targeting online bargain hunters.

Some popular shopping apps have even been copied and replicated in a bid to steal payment-card data.

Major retailers are now hunting through their internal corporate networks to see if they have been infected by the highly sophisticated Modpos malware which intercepts payment-card data from computerised tills.

The Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Centre, a US government-backed organisation set up to pass on information about threats aimed at retailers, has sent out advice about the "2015 hacking season".

It warned that threats were difficult to deal with at the time of year due to systems being ‘frozen’ to limit downtime.And said that traditional anti-virus systems were unlikely to catch the stealthy malware because of the clever way it was built.

Anti-fraud company ThreatMetrix said online retailers should expect a "major spike" in assault from hi-tech crime groups running fraud campaigns during the run-up to Christmas.

Georgie Collins, Partner and Intellectual Property, Media and Privacy specialist at Irwin Mitchell, said that shoppers need to protect themselves as much as possible.

Expert Opinion
Thieves have realised that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are a prime opportunity to target both retailers and the consumer.

Businesses need to make sure they are prepared and have systems in place to deal with the higher level of threat in the run up to Christmas.

This year we have seen an onslaught of high profile cyber-attacks, like Talk Talk and Ashley Madison.

The reality is that cyber-crime threatens all businesses, whether they are large or small their customers’ data is like liquid gold.
Georgie Collins, Partner