Cybercriminals Target Black Friday Shoppers with Malicious Apps

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A new study has determined that cybercriminals are targeting holiday shoppers during this year’s Black Friday with hundreds of potentially malicious apps.

The report, from cybersecurity firm RiskIQ, reveals that Black Friday was a “feast for threat actors” with as many as five percent of 4,331 apps that show up after searching for “Black Friday” turned out to be malicious.

Furthermore, the cybercriminals have also specifically turned their attention on the top five leading brands online to create a combined total of a staggering 6,600 blacklisted apps that contain the names of the brands – either in title or description.

“With more people than ever poised to partake in this year’s November shopping frenzy, attackers will capitalize by using the brand names of leading e-tailers to exploit users looking for Black Friday deals and coupons by creating fake mobile apps and landing pages to fool consumers into downloading malware,” an excerpt from the report read.

Compiled by analyzing the results of keyword queries of its mobile app database for the most trafficked e-commerce brands during the upcoming holiday, the e-commerce blacklist underlines the threats faced by an increasing number of consumers looking for Black Friday bargains on the internet.

The discovery comes at a time when RiskIQ detected an average of nearly 90,000 monthly instances of digital credit card-skimmer magecart between August and October this year alone.

An estimated $20 billion was spent over Black Friday and Cyber Monday alone by online shoppers in 2017, according to Adobe’s Digital Index. The increasing trend is being exploited by cybercriminals and scammers creating fake landing pages and mobile apps with faux branding to lure unsuspecting customers.

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