Account Takeover Fraud
Account takeover fraud, also known as account compromise, occurs when cyber attackers illicitly gain control of a legitimate account. Unauthorized individuals take over online accounts, such as banks, emails, or social media profiles, without the owner’s consent. These attacks involve obtaining login credentials through methods like phishing, malware, social engineering, or data breaches.
Once attackers control an account, they execute various types of attacks, including internal phishing within an organization, supply-chain phishing to defraud customers and partners, BEC-style impersonation attacks, data exfiltration from mailboxes, and financial fraud by stealing funds through fraudulent transactions.
Automated techniques, utilizing scripts with thousands of credentials, are common in account takeover attacks. Successful attacks can yield substantial revenue on darknet markets for sophisticated cyber attackers.
Furthermore, account takeover fraud can lead to chargebacks, which are financial reversals initiated by customers who dispute unauthorized transactions. Once attackers gain control of someone’s account, they may use it to make fraudulent purchases, resulting in chargeback claims from the legitimate account owner. Chargebacks can be an added headache for merchants and financial institutions, as they may be liable for the losses resulting from the fraudulent activity.
Preventing account takeover fraud is crucial not only to protect individuals from unauthorized access but also to minimize the impact of chargebacks on businesses and financial institutions. Implementing robust security measures and educating users about cybersecurity best practices can help mitigate the risks of account takeover and the resulting chargebacks.
Written by Andrii Vovk