More than half of all login attempts on social media are made by scammers trying to make a quick buck, a report has discovered.

Arkose Labs analyzed over 1.2 billion transactions, including logins and signups on social media sites, for its Q3 Fraud and Abuse Report. It found that one in 10 transactions are attacks from either bots or humans.

By 2021, the report estimated that cybercrime will cost the global economy $6 trillion in damages.

Scammers On Social Media

According to Arkose Labs, about 53 percent of login attempts on social media sites are fraudulent. Meanwhile, 25 percent of all new account signups are fraudulent.

Majority of these malicious activities (more than 75 percent) were executed using automated bots with the aim of disseminating spam or propaganda, steal information, and execute social engineering campaigns that target customers.

"The extremely high attack rate on social media logins is indicative of the value placed on the data fraudsters extract from compromised social accounts," said Kevin Gosschalk, CEO of Arkose Labs. "Because more than 50% of social media logins are fraud, we know that fraudsters are using large-scale bots to launch attacks on social media platforms."

The report also listed the Philippines, the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, and Indonesia as the top originators of these attacks. The Philippines ranked as the single biggest human and bot attacks originator, with the United States a far second. Meanwhile, 59.3 percent of human-driven attacks are from China.

Internet Services Under Attack

Arkose Labs also observed patterns of financial services fraud based on time of day and seasons. The report said that scammers mimic daily user traffic during business hours. Attacks also increase during high-traffic periods of the year, like the tax season.

About 9 percent of total login attempts come from humans who take over real accounts to illicitly transfer money or make purchases.

The report warned that the travel industry is at a high risk of fraud. Payment transactions are 10 times more likely to experience attacks, especially from bots.

Moreover, the report revealed that almost 10 percent of all login attempts and 46 percent of payment transactions on travel sites are fraudulent.

"We are in an era where online identity, intent, business, metrics and content can all be faked," added Gosschalk. "This can have serious security and financial repercussions for any business with an online presence, especially as they try to balance risk management with the delivery of exceptional customer experience."

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