Fraud Intelligence

What is Fraud Intelligence?

Fraud Intelligence is a type of threat intelligence concerned with identifying fraud specialists and understanding the TTPs, tools, and social engineering methods they use to defraud target organizations. 

Armed with complete and accurate fraud intelligence, organizations can deploy countermeasures to disrupt fraudulent infrastructure, thwarting future attacks and safeguarding their employees, vendors, and customers against digital adversaries.

What is Fraud?

Fraud is an intentional act of deception to secure unlawful financial or personal gain, or to cause the victim to be deprived of a legal right. Digital fraud often involves a scheme or scam deployed by a cyber criminal that convinces the target to relinquish money or sensitive data under false pretenses.

When a cybercriminal makes a false statement (e.g. in a phishing email), misrepresents the facts (e.g. brandjacking), or engages in deceitful conduct (e.g. spoofing, impersonation) to wrongfully obtain financial resources or gain access to sensitive data, they are committing fraud.

What are the Three Main Types of Fraud?

When it comes to safeguarding against fraud, there are three main types of fraud that enterprise SecOps teams should work to identify and remediate in the public attack space:

  • Data Theft is the act of stealing digital information stored on enterprise networks and devices. Cyber criminals engaged in data theft may target employee or customer personal data, payment data, financial records, proprietary data/trade secrets, access credentials for secured systems, or intellectual property such as application source codes.

    Sensitive data stolen from enterprise organizations may be used by the cyber criminal or sold to other fraudsters who use it to commit credit card fraud or identity theft.
  • Financial Misappropriation involves wrongfully stealing money from the target individual or organization. Digital threat actors engaged in financial misappropriation might attempt to steal banking credentials with a domain spoofing attack, or authorize a fraudulent transaction by impersonating a powerful business executive.
  • Corruption and Bribery involves offering something of value to a corporate official in exchange for their cooperation in defrauding the targeted official’s organization. Cyber criminals may use social media or the dark web to offer bribes to corporate officials willing to help them commit fraud.

Protecting Your Organization with Fraud Intelligence

Fraud is broadly defined such that many different types of cyber crimes may be considered digital fraud. Fraud intelligence can help enterprises detect and counteract many types of fraud, including (but not limited to):

Business Email Compromise (BEC)

In a BEC attack, the digital threat actor gains access to a business email account and impersonates the owner to authorize a fraudulent transaction or gain access to sensitive data. 

Impersonation and Fake Accounts

BEC attacks are just one form of impersonation attack. Digital threat actors can also impersonate their targets by creating fraudulent email addresses, fake forum profiles, or fake social media accounts. Fake accounts may be used to send phishing messages to employees of the target organization, or its partners, or customers.

Email and Domain Spoofing

Spoofing is when a digital threat actor creates a fake website or email domain to impersonate a target brand. Spoofing attacks are deployed frequently in financial fraud, with scammers replicating the websites of large financial institutions to trick their customers into divulging their login credentials to scammers.

Phishing and Spear Phishing

Phishing is a type of social engineering that uses deceptive messages to convince the target to relinquish sensitive data or make a fraudulent transaction. Phishing attacks are among the most common forms of digital fraud, with over 3 billion phishing emails sent daily around the world. Analysts estimate that nearly 25% of phishing emails are targeted at financial institutions.

Fraudulent Mobile Apps

Cyber criminals create fraudulent mobile apps that impersonate target brands and distribute them on third-party app marketplaces. When customers of the brand download the fraudulent app, their payment information may be stolen or their device may be infected with malware. Fraud intelligence can help enterprises detect and remove fraudulent mobile apps from illicit marketplaces before they harm consumers.

Counterfeiting and Piracy

Counterfeiting and piracy are both cyber crimes where digital adversaries violate the intellectual property rights of the target organization and swindle its customers by misrepresenting the authenticity of products or services.

How Does Fraud Intelligence Help Secure Your Enterprise?

Fraud intelligence helps enterprise organizations identify digital threat actors and understand the methods and tools they use to commit fraud. 

AI-driven fraud intelligence solutions can be used to monitor the public attack space, analyze content at scale to identify evidence of fraudulent activities, and alert SecOps or incident response teams who can work to deploy countermeasures. 

The ability to monitor the public attack space for fraud at scale gives enterprises a distinct advantage when it comes to protecting their brands, employees, vendors, and customers from fraud.

Detect and Counteract Fraud with ZeroFOX Threat Intelligence

The ZeroFOX platform gives enterprises extreme visibility into the public attack surface, monitoring critical digital assets to identify digital fraud specialists and recognize fraud-based cyber attacks. 

ZeroFOX’s disruption and takedown services reduce time to action on critical threats, including removing fraudulent accounts and dismantling fraudulent infrastructure to prevent future attacks.

Want to learn more? View our free webinar, The Evolution of Financial Fraud and Phishing: A Conversation with FIS, Royal Bank of Canada, and ZeroFox, to discover how digital threat organizations are working to defraud target organizations and how you can mitigate risk to your customers and business.