Hackers to capitalise on Prime Day with phishing attacks

Hackers are set to target bargain-hunting shoppers with phishing scams this Amazon Prime Day, according to cyber security firm Tessian.

Taking place tomorrow and Wednesday, the e-commerce giant's annual promotional period tempts many consumers to do their Christmas shopping early and online - with this year predicted to be particularly busy due to the lack of high street shopping due to COVID-19.

This also means it's likely hackers will flood inboxes with fake deals and offers, designed to dupe people into downloading malware or share payment information and account details.

According to research commissioned by Tessian, 68 per cent of IT decision-makers at UK retailers worry their brand will be impersonated during the holiday shopping season. One in five said that phishing poses the greatest threat to their retail organisation in the period leading up to Christmas.

Tim Sadler, chief executive at Tessian, explained: "Consumers are expecting to receive more marketing and advertising emails during popular shopping periods, and this makes it easier for cybercriminals to ‘hide’ their malicious messages in people’s noisier-than-usual inboxes.

"Throughout this year, we’ve seen cybercriminals piggy-backing on high profile events to make their phishing attacks as convincing as possible - we can expect similar tactics this Prime Day, with hackers impersonating Amazon in their emails and supposedly providing people the deals they are seeking."

App Annie, the mobile data and analytics platform, predicted that 9.6 million hours are to be spent on shopping apps on Android phones this week in the UK - surpassing last year’s holiday shopping levels by five per cent - which was the previous sales event-driven record holder.

A 35 per cent growth year-on-year for Prime Day 2020 is expected, driven by increased mobile shopping adoption in the UK due to lockdowns and social distancing policies.

Commenting on the trends, Andy Halliwell, senior director and retail analyst at digital consultancy Publicis Sapient, pointed out that while Prime Day usually falls in July, by moving it three months out, sales revenue will get a much-needed boost in the crucial last quarter.

"This year, we will see a lot of sellers and retailers looking to shift stock early on in the season to help secure their Q4 revenues in advance of an anticipated UK lockdown.

"However, we may see retailers try and spread-out demand by running a full week of promotions instead of restricting it to just one day in an effort to try and avoid a sudden warehouse/fulfilment surge."

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