Digital Wallet Fraud Tops Cyber Threat Worldwide

Mobile payment app fraud topped the annual list of personal cyber threats compiled by the Information-technology Promotion Agency (IPA), ringing up the ignominious distinction for a second straight year.

Begun in 2006, the agency’s lists seek to gauge the “Top 10 Major Security Threats” facing individuals and organizations online, as determined by a poll of information security experts.

The ranking comes on the heels of notable vulnerabilities in e-money apps, such as Docomo Koza, NTT Docomo Inc.’s electronic payment settlement service, which was exploited in September last year.

In the incident, fraudsters managed to obtain the personal information of Docomo Koza service users, which they then used to open new accounts where they funneled over ¥28 million in funds stolen from 11 banks linked to the service.

The scheme is thought to have exploited lax identity verification processes involved in opening new Docomo Koza accounts.

Similar incidents were found to have occurred on other services, including PayPay.

The “cyberbullying and fake news” took the number three slot on the individual threat list.

The death of pro wrestler and Terrace House cast member Hana Kimura, who committed suicide after being bullied online, triggered a larger societal conversation on the risks of social media.

The internet has also proved a breeding ground for the spread of false information on COVID-19 and discrimination against those infected with the virus.

Financial loss resulting from ransomware, a type of malware that encrypts a computer’s files and demands a ransom to restore the data, ranked atop the list of threats posed toward organizations, after a spate of corporate PCs were taken hostage last year.

Cyber-attacks targeting teleworkers appeared on the list for the first time, ranking third, as culprits launched attacks on corporate servers from the computers of remote-working employees, a work style that increasingly became the new normal. As an IPA official warned, “It’s critical that [companies] get their teleworking protocols in order.”

According to the Merchant Risk Council “erchants in every industry, from e-commerce to travel, are constantly looking for ways to prevent fraud on their online platforms. However, fraudsters know the methods they’ve used to steal from businesses and consumers in the past will only work for so long, and will continue to pivot their approach to carry out fraud attacks.”

Fraudsters aren’t working primarily from laptops or desktop computers, as one might think from movies or TV shows. The majority of fraudsters have gone mobile: More than half (51%) of the payment fraud attempted in the last year was done via mobile devices, challenging the notion that fraudsters are operating in basements on their laptops,” added the Merchant Risk Council.

Source: Japan News

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