Black Friday hacker deal: Criminals resorting to freebies to pump up sales

Cartoon Phishing
(Image credit: Shutterstock / DRogatnev)
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So you ended on a shiny new electronics website that has the brand new PS5 in stock (opens in new tab) at a price that is beyond belief. Stop and think; could this be one of many fake Black Friday deals (opens in new tab)

Chances are yes, according to a report from security firm Skurio that noted that the number of Black Friday related domain registrations has increased by nearly 20x since last year. 

The company has reported more than 200 domains deemed suspicious to web hosting (opens in new tab) companies and domain name registrars (opens in new tab) to be taken down; and it is likely that there are far more, given that the research appeared to have focused primarily on English language domains rather than all TLDs.

Black Friday phishing scams

In a statement to TechRadar Pro, Jeremy Hendy, CEO at Skurio, noted that “the analysis highlights the growing popularity of the use of malicious domains by cybercriminals which can be used for phishing campaigns or data collection purposes.“

Some of these websites appear to have been used as front-end for Dark Web vendors that try to capitalize on the current sales frenzy by offering their own Black Friday deals. 

Hendy added that they had “also seen instances of Black Friday-related sales from multiple vendors on various forums - from drug deals to providing breached information for free.” That, he says, highlights the fact that dark web vendors are using traditional marketing tactics used by consumer brands to sell and capitalise on Black Friday.”

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.