Bad Actors Work Well Outside of Hollywood

Criminals and other bad actors are rapidly evolving their online identity fraud techniques to move quickly and commit their crimes. More hackers and bad actors are attacking enterprises than ever before, fueling a sense of urgency around finding timely solutions to reduce risk for online services, credit card processors, e-commerce merchants and consumers. Consequences include:

  • Cybercriminals signing up for new accounts using fraudulent information including bogus user names, email addresses, and domains. This access readies attacks against online service providers and can quickly damage a trusted brand’s reputation.
  • Bad Actors hijack legitimate registered customer accounts using valid customer login and password data. All for unlawful purposes such as sending high volumes of spam to distribute malicious software or phishing scams designed to defraud consumers of financial information by masquerading as a trustworthy entity.
  • Organized thieves employ stolen financial assets including credit card numbers and account information to place orders for goods or services.

Online identity fraud impacts revenue and customer growth, and can seriously damage reputation, brand image, and halt expansion into new markets. The FBI classifies a stolen identity as a powerful cloak of anonymity for criminals and terrorists…and a danger to national security and private citizens alike.

Online identity fraud impacts a wide range of online service providers and other organizations:

  • Providers of digital goods, those with nearly instantaneous delivery, such as computer software downloads; eGift cards; travel services; eTickets for entertainment events; music and other downloadable digital media; digital items within games and social networks, etc.
  • Providers of digital services, such as cloud-based email services, CRM services (e.g.,, ERP services, cloud-based storage, and online broker services such as Airbnb and Uber.
  • Sellers of physical goods that maintain an e-commerce site, such as Amazon, eBay, Craigslist or any of the hundreds of thousands of other online retailers worldwide.
  • User-generated content sites that provide ratings and reviews, such as Yelp, OpenTable, Angie’s List, Citysearch or Yahoo! Local Listings.
  • Any of the 1,000+ social networks in use worldwide – such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn – that can be used by cybercriminals to distribute spam or links to malware-focused sites and, through the use of social engineering, can easily infect legitimate users.

We have just written a white paper about bad actors – and what you can do about them – which you can download here.