Malicious shopping websites surge in number in advance of Black Friday

Greater than 5,300 malicious web sites have popped up every week, the best for the reason that begin of 2021, says Test Level Analysis.


Picture: iStock/tevarak

The 2021 vacation season is a busy time for individuals as they prepare to buy, each at bodily shops and at on-line websites. However after all, that is additionally a busy time for cybercriminals as they prepare to take advantage of the season to focus on customers with scams.

SEE: Preventing social media phishing assaults: 10 ideas (free PDF) (TechRepublic)  

One tactic that attackers use is to arrange phony procuring websites to trick individuals into spending cash on faux or nonexistent merchandise. A report launched Friday by cyber risk intelligence supplier Test Level Analysis reveals a dramatic rise in a lot of these websites in contrast with earlier in 2021.

Because the starting of October, the variety of malicious procuring websites has jumped to greater than 5,300 ones every week, including as much as a rise of 178% in contrast with the common quantity for 2021. And for the reason that begin of November, the variety of company networks impacted by these websites has risen to 1 out of each 38 in contrast with 1 in 352 earlier within the yr.

One marketing campaign seen by Test Level despatched out phishing emails hawking low-cost Michael Kors purses and different merchandise with such topic strains as “Style MK Purses 85% Off Store On-line At this time,” “As much as 80% OFF Michael Kors HandBags on Sale, Excessive Style, Low Costs” and “Store All Michael Kors Purses, Purses & Wallets Up To 70%.”

The hyperlinks contained within the emails directed individuals to web sites with costs too good to be true, which means that any consumers would obtain both fraudulent merchandise or no product in any respect. The linked web sites all had comparable domains with the identical IP handle vary of Although the websites are not obtainable, some have been lively through the second half of October, whereas others have been nonetheless in enterprise as much as the second week of November.


Picture: Test Level

One other marketing campaign noticed by Test Level impersonated official procuring websites with the possible purpose of stealing account credentials. An electronic mail written in Japanese claimed to be from “Amazon. Pressing discover” and contained a topic line translated into English that mentioned: “System Notification: Sadly, we have been unable to resume your Amazon account.” The web site linked to within the message was masquerading as Amazon’s Japanese procuring web site.


Picture: Test Level

“Hackers are doubling down on the technique to lure customers into fraud by ‘too good to be true’ affords, promising massive reductions such at 80% or 85% off,” mentioned Omer Dembinsky, information group supervisor at Test Level Software program. “Their technique is to capitalize on a shopper’s pleasure after displaying an eye-popping low cost. I strongly urge customers to beware of those ‘too good to be true” affords as they store on-line on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.”

To guard your self and your group from malicious procuring websites and ecommerce scams through the vacation season, Test Level affords the next ideas:

  1. Be sure to store instantly from a dependable web site. Do not click on on promotional hyperlinks that you just obtain by way of electronic mail or social media. Run a seek for a procuring web site earlier than you go to it to be sure you’re going by the proper URL.
  2. Be careful for lookalike domains. Scan for typos and different errors in emails and on web sites and be cautious of unknown electronic mail senders or uncommon electronic mail addresses that you just see in promotions.
  3. Belief your instincts. A procuring promotion that sounds too good to be true possible is a rip-off. Which means a brand new iPad won’t go on sale for 80% off the retail value.
  4. Search for the lock icon and the “S” in HTTPS within the handle bar of your browser. Any web site that doesn’t use Safe Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption at this level needs to be averted. No lock icon and no S are each pink flags.
  5. Be cautious of password reset emails, particularly through the vacation season. In the event you get such an electronic mail, at all times go to the web site instantly as an alternative of clicking on the hyperlink within the message. In the event you want or wish to change your password, be sure you do it on the precise web site.

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