Kicking off on July 12th, the annual Amazon shopping extravaganza, as always, is promised to be bigger and better with more cash savings and offers on goods. Online shoppers are already on the hunt for one-time offers or once-a-year deals and are closely monitoring the web for upcoming surprises. In India, online shoppers will also be sharpening their wallets to get in on the action. According to a recent report by Boston Consulting Group, the number of online shoppers in India has grown rapidly to 230 million from 210 million in 2021, with expected increases by 2.5 times over the next decade. COVID has helped to fuel this online shopping growth and spend growth by 3 – 4 years.
Clearly tracking this trend, cybercriminals are also sharpening their own upcoming surprises and gearing up to exploit the excitement of shoppers. Of course, Amazon-related phishing occurs all year long, and the company is often in the top imitated brands yet there is always an increase in activity around Prime Day. CPR is closely monitoring for cyber threats related to the day, both in the weeks leading to it and during the event itself, and has already found alarming signs of malicious phishing campaigns and fake websites.
Phishing shoppers through emails and fake URL: During the first week of July, CPR witnessed a 37% increase in daily Amazon-related phishing attacks, compared to the daily average in June.
The team also found approximately 1,900 new domains containing the term ‘amazon’ and 9.5% of these were found to be risky, either malicious or suspicious.
In the weeks prior to Prime Day 2021, CPR discovered 2,303 new Amazon-related domains with most of them (78%) found to be risky. Our researchers believe that this decrease could partly be explained by cybercriminals not always having the full term “amazon” included in the domain being registered for phishing purposes to avoid detection.
Furthermore, these cybercriminals might leverage these domains for a later use, and do not want them to contain content that could be deemed malicious.
‘Phishing URLs’ are webpages that impersonate legitimate Amazon pages. They look exactly like the real thing and within it, they request users to provide information, usually credentials. Emails are the most common medium that phishers use to deliver malware or steal private information.
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