Today, let's talk APIs. Whether you are aware of the term or not, it's probably something you as an internet user or online business owner come into contact with every day. That's why it's important you know what to look out for when setting up API security for your digital business. Here's our list of the top 3 attack trends on API security.
What is API?
APIs or Application Programming Interfaces, have become the vital tool for businesses in all industries. They are the means by which two computer programs are able to communicate.
A great comparison is relating an API to being a waiter. Like a waiter, an API is the middle man for the software world. They take your order, send it to the back, and return when your order is ready.
Ever see the option to pay with PayPal? That's a great example of a common API. So is Google Maps every time you view business hours or click reviews, Google Maps' API does that work for you.
The Issue with Trusting API
The issue with the modern times is that the more popular APIs become, the more open they are to targeted attacks.
The first attack trend we've been seeing is the ability for bad actors to commit all types of fraud using API interfaces.
2021 saw the most breaches in API security then in any other year. That being said, 2022 will probably be no different. If anything there's a chance we will see more API attacks this year than ever before.
So, without further ado, here's what to look out for.
1. API Fraud
Gift Card fraud, loan fraud and even payment fraud have been taking advantage of just about everyone these days.
As of last July, Account Takeovers or ATO's saw an increase of 2800%. This statistic alludes to about 700,000 attacks happening every day. All trying to commit some sort of online user fraud.
Gift Card Fraud
Ever get a weird email by someone pretending to be your boss asking you to buy gift cards because they're in a jam or need them for a client? This is a great example of an attacker trying to commit gift card fraud on you.
Never send out gift card information, and if you have already, hold onto the receipts and the physical card to report it to your local authorities.
Account takeovers are a form of identity theft. It's when a bad actor gains access to some ones account credentials and uses it to commit fraud. For loan fraud, actors use your personal information they gained to apply for loans.
They'll find public email domains such as Gmail and create like 3,000 email addresses (or any amount), and use them to submit multiple loan applications hoping one will stick.
As for payment fraud, bad actors use the account they've taken over to complete transactions. When targeting APIs, they'll make regularly spaced out phone calls from over 20,000 numbers and use this congestion to get a bite. They'll request refunds or steal sensitive information all to make a quick buck.
2. Shopping Bots
The use of bots has become widely popular these days. You can use a bot to do about anything when it comes to online retail. And that's where the problem lies.
Actors are buying malicious bot networks to acquire high-demand goods. Shopping bots can in turn harm a business's reputation. They crash websites, ruin a brand image, jeopardize business deals and so forth. Bots drive traffic about 4300% above average and more than 85% of them are malicious actors.
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3. Back and Forth Method of Account Takeover
Usually, there comes a point where an actor will give up on an individual and move on to another target if they don't experience success.
However, we saw in 2021 a resilience on the attackers end to continuously modify their efforts to achieve success from a targeted account.
API attack traffic has more than doubled the amount of regular API traffic in the past year.
This makes it difficult for security teams to properly sift through legit accounts. Attackers are drifting through the radar and not posing themselves as huge threats. Using the slow and steady method to gain access to more and more accounts.
Security has to split their attention to prevent fraudulent activity while also helping accounts that have been affected regain rightful control.
Businesses that want to offer a secure user experience to their consumers need to protect their API traffic.
This is why we must be aware of the top 3 attack trends on API security that are happening all around us.
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