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New financial fraud attacks detected 'every two minutes'

(Image credit: wk1003mike / Shutterstock)

Cyberattacks involving financial fraud saw a huge increase in 2019, a new report from Palo Alto Networks has revealed.

The company uncovered over 59,627 cases of fraud worldwide last year, including phishing, trojan horse attacks, mobile application fraud and brand abuse.

Phishing fraud, where users are deceived in sharing their details either by email, phone call or SMS, accounted for over 47% of all attacks. 

The report also highlighted that the equivalent of 30 fraud attacks were detected around the globe every hour in 2019, with UK police taking down over 1,600 social media profiles that were linked to cyber fraud last year.

Decoding fraudsters

With over 100% increase in the phishing attempts, Canadians were targeted the most in the last quarter of 2019. While India saw a 30% increase in phishing attempts, Philippines and Spain experienced a decrease in these fraud attempts. The USA, Germany, Malaysia, India and Russia were identified as the top five countries which hosted phishing attacks.

The report also highlighted changing trends in the consumer fraud environment across both financial and e-commerce as focus areas. 

With a 59% increase from the last quarter and an overall 72% transactions originating from the mobile browser, smartphones have become the primary mode of carrying out fraud transactions. The shift from web-based attacks to mobile browser-based fraud attempts also coincides with the fact that there is a 175% rise in the usage of rogue mobile apps by these hackers. 

A drastic difference was noted between genuine and fraudulent credit card transactions in Australia and New Zealand. The report highlighted that the average value of a fraud credit card transaction was $414, almost three times as much as the average genuine transaction.