Spoofed domains routinely target online shoppers to steal sensitive data according to Salt Lake City based Venafi, and a cybersecurity adviser warned credit union members are vulnerable as well.

Venafi, which provides machine identity protection, analyzed suspicious domains targeting the top 20 retailers in five key markets: the U.S., U.K., France, Germany and Australia. Their research revealed an explosion in the number of potentially fraudulent domains and they target every online retailer studied.

Cyberattackers create fake domains by substituting a few characters in the URLs. Because they point to malicious online shopping sites that mimic legitimate, well-known retail websites, it has become increasingly difficult for customers to detect the bogus domains. Additionally, given that many of these malicious pages use a trusted Transport Layer Security certificate, they appear to be safe for online shoppers who unknowingly provide sensitive account information and payment data thereby making them susceptible to phishing attacks and ID theft.

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Roy Urrico

Roy W. Urrico specializes in articles about financial technology and services for Credit Union Times, as well as ghostwriting, copywriting, and case studies. Also: writer/editor of a semi-annual newsletter for Association for Financial Technology since 1997 and history projects funded by the U.S Interior Department, National Park Service and Warren County (N.Y.).

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