Only 42 hacking days left ‘til Christmas… ‘tis the season to be nervy

watch out there's a thief about

Is it just me or does it seem like there are an awful lot of Christmas scare stories in the press at the moment? Two of the scariest? , The Daily Express reported discount site Voucherbox.co.uk saying copycat websites – replicas of sites offering great deals – could steal a lot of money from discount-focused shoppers if they’re not careful.

There’s also a risk that criminals could offer fake or non-existent goods on legit sites and not only will goods never arrive, but the criminals will also have shoppers’ credit card details. The message from Voucherbox is that if a deal looks too good to be true, it could be fake.

Meanwhile The Telegraph reported a study from transaction authenticating firm ThreatMetrix saying that after months in which data breaches have been big news, the festive season is likely to see more attempted hacks than ever before.

This view is based on the fact that in the past 90 days, ThreatMetrix has detected 45m attempted attacks against e-retailers, 25% up on the previous 90 day period.

ThreatMetrix chief products officer Alisdair Faulkner told the newspaper that Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be particular targets as more consumers access the internet from devices “leaving digital footprints for cybercriminals to exploit”.

ThreatMetrix calls the coming festive season Cybercriminal Christmas, which may seem a little excessive unless you consider that cyber crime is now officially the UK’s most common offence. Back in the 1970s there was a public awareness campaign warning “Watch out, there’s a thief about”. It seems it’s never been more true, even when you’re sat at home innocently surfing the web.

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