Black Friday and Cyber Monday online security breaches

The Guardian reported John Lewis said Thursday evening/Friday morning sales through its website were ahead of expectations as shoppers placed five orders every second. The most sought after items included Sonos Play 1 wireless speakers, with one sold every 10 seconds, it said. Black Friday, predominantly known for in-store sales initiated in UK stores six years ago but has quickly turned into an online event resulting into Cyber Monday and recently this year, a week-long marathon with sales expected to result in online retail sales of £6.77bn in the seven days to Monday 28 November 2016.


While high-street retailers such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and John Lewis opened their doors at 5am anticipating huge crowds, with security teams were outnumbering the shoppers with one shopper from Sainsbury’s in Harringay, North London, saying “People don’t want to come out because of the fighting. They are doing it all online, this is quiet, very calm. Last year at Sainsbury’s it was crazy. I thought it would be a real rabble again.”


The new online festivity may save consumers money leading into the Christmas shopping season but it also brings an increase in online phishing attacks with simple enticements such as appealing email subject lines for example; Limited Time Black Friday Deals or 10% off Site-Wide. Get Your Black Friday Shopping Started Today!


Retailers offer a lot of hard-to-resist deals but clicking through an e-mail to make an order could jeopardise the consumer's personal information and card details as Amazon customers were warned over a Black Friday phishing campaign. and Get Safe Online warned that cyber criminals have sent thousands of emails to customers claiming there is a "problem" with their orders from the Amazon website and need further information.


When trying to steal payment data, criminals use different schemes. For example, they may create a fake payment page of a known payment system, copy legitimate online retailer sites, create legitimate looking fake shops with incredibly attractive offerings or hack into the online retailer’s secure data. Therefore, within all the noise of impressive cyber festive discounts, it is best to remember that while retailers prepare excellent online offers and deals for consumers, cyber criminals also prepare ways to benefit from retailers and consumers too over these festive seasons.