Fraud: Protect Your Business | Intel471 Skip to content


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Topic Fraud

What is Fraud?

Fraud is the use of deception to steal money or information from its victims. From payment card fraud to identity theft, each case of fraud can leave your organization reeling from financial losses, reputational damage, and legal ramifications. Businesses are always at risk from fraudsters and so preparing a proactive defense against them is a must if you want to mitigate these consequences effectively.

How is Fraud Committed?

Threat actors commit fraud through a myriad of different ways. However the data is stolen, the attacker’s goal is typically to sell it to other threat actors on the cyber underground for use in further criminal exploits, or leverage it themselves for financial gain. Some of the most frequent digital avenues used are:

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Data Breaches

Accidental or unlawful disclosures of confidential information are the most prevalent ways in which fraudsters access stolen data, such as credit card details or compromised credentials. Whether the breach is achieved by insider leaks, phishing attacks, or exploiting system vulnerabilities; the exposed information is likely to be used for financial gain.

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Phishing Scams

This common type of social engineering attack sees threat actors sending fraudulent messages that impersonate legitimate sources and use emotional manipulation to trick the victim into divulging personal information or funds. Phishing scams are growing increasingly sophisticated and harder to protect against as a result.

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This type of e-skimming attack is also known as javascript skimming or a magecart attack. Here, a threat actor injects malicious code into the checkout pages of e-commerce sites to steal card information entered there. Attackers typically achieve this by compromising third party services, which often have less robust cyber security infrastructures, before moving laterally to the true target.

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Point of Sale (POS) Malware

A POS device calculates the final amount a customer needs to pay and offers options to do so. Once a threat actor has accessed a system, they can install POS malware which scrapes decrypted payment card data as a transaction is being processed by the POS machine.

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Man in the Browser (MitB) Attacks

These are a type of man-in-the-middle attack whereby malware, capable of reconfiguring a victim’s web transactions, is covertly installed on their computer. When the victim accesses specific sites, such as online banking sites, the malware interferes with the transactions, enabling them to redirect both funds and data to the attacker instead. The transaction is then reconfigured on the receipt to conceal the malware’s presence.

How Can You Combat Fraud?

By training staff to recognise phishing scams and other social engineering attacks, it will be far harder for threat actors to deceive employees.

Threat actors are constantly searching for vulnerabilities to exploit. Running on outdated patches allows actors to leverage vulnerabilities in systems such as web applications, server software, or content management systems (CMS). Ensuring your patching is up to date minimizes the risk of fraud being committed.

Establish a comprehensive plan that is applied consistently across the business. The use of multifactor authentication, regularly updating passwords, and the encryption of sensitive data are vital components of such a plan.

CTI can provide an organization with real-time intelligence about active threats, vulnerabilities, and threat actors to enable faster detection of a fraudulent attack, and better mitigate its impact.

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How Can Intel 471 Help?

No matter how well-fortified your organization is, falling victim to fraud happens. Intel 471 has access to tens of millions of unique data points, including underground markets and restricted access forums across the world where stolen goods are sold. You can set watchers to be notified as soon as relevant goods, even data you didn’t know had been compromised, are up for sale so you can rapidly respond to reduce the risk it presents.

Our ‘boots on the ground’ network of intelligence analysts provides our customers with unique intelligence about the threat actors behind fraud: how they operate, and how they gain entry. Organizations can apply this intelligence to respond faster, and prepare better against future fraudulent activity.

You can’t protect what you can’t see. Use Intel 471’s Attack Surface Protection to regularly map your internet-facing assets and discover unknown assets such as unused, unpatched devices to reduce possible entry-points for an attacker, or rogue assets like fraudulent websites impersonating yours for phishing scams.

Patching is invaluable but inexhaustible, and continuously taking systems offline to conduct it can have a considerable impact on business operations. Intel 471 monitors for precursors to malicious activity and tracks threats as they develop so that you can prioritize patching according to your operational needs, preventing threat actors from gaining access to install malware or malicious code.

Intel 471 is your window to the cyber underground. Our unparalleled CTI gives organizations all they need to help protect themselves against fraud, including the following: