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When Santa Arrives, So Do The Bots!

August 24, 2018 | All ShieldSquare Research

bots and holiday season

Online retailers and e-commerce portals in many countries traditionally have the largest sales volumes of the year in the weeks before Christmas. That’s why the day after Thanksgiving has come to be known as ‘Black Friday’ in the United States and a few other countries, as it’s the time of year when retailers finally start generating profits and their balance sheets are said to go from red to black. The sales frenzy usually continues unabated until a few days before Christmas, as consumers snap up deals and indulge in holiday shopping.


Around two or three days before Christmas, though, overall traffic on online retail sites drops off sharply, as most consumers have finished their holiday shopping by then.


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Those keeping tabs on bot traffic, however, will notice that it spikes in the days just before Christmas, reaching a peak on Christmas Eve, as the infographic displaying holiday traffic to one of our large e-commerce customers shows.


graph


This is because year after year, we have observed account takeover attempts by fraudsters who deploy bots in large numbers to steal funds from online virtual wallets, as well as gift cards, discount vouchers, store credits, and so on. Consumers who have been robbed through such brute-force account takeovers will naturally be upset with the online retailer involved, resulting in loss of trust, negative publicity, or even litigation.


Feedback from our e-commerce customers indicates that after adopting our solution they have been able to reduce account takeovers and other malicious bot activities to virtually insignificant levels. And the end result? Happy customers and frustrated fraudsters.


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