For example, the back-to-back lunar new year and Beijing Winter Olympics events made China a more lucrative target than elsewhere: study

Data on malicious botnets attacks throughout the Asia Pacific region during the holiday period from late 2021 to early 2022 shows that upticks in cyberattacks affected China and Japan differently from the rest of the world.

Malicious actors operate throughout the year, but the high volume of traffic during holiday periods allows them to mask their attacks more easily. Additionally, customers are more likely to update their online shopping profiles with up-to-date credit card information and credentials during this period, providing a more lucrative target for attackers.

However, according to data from Akamai Technologies, Inc., while surges occur during the high-traffic seen at the end-of-year holidays in EMEA and the USA, China and Japan present a particularly enticing opportunity for successful cyberattacks because of the sheer volume in traffic. Retailers and e-commerce business there serve some of the largest populations in the world:

China: The firm’s data showed a 15% increase in cyberattacks there over the Lunar New Year period in February 2022. The uptick in attacks continued a trend that began with Singles Day in November 2021, during which botnet attacks tripled. Despite gradually declining after, attack traffic remained relatively high through the end of the year before peaking again with the buildup of retail traffic during the Lunar New Year. As the 2022 Lunar New Year coincided with the start of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, the boosting of online sales made this period more attractive for attacks on China.

Japan: In Japan, data showed a 150% increase in malicious botnet activity in the Japanese retail sector around the Gregorian new year in early January 2022. The attacks persisted for a number of weeks following the holiday in a nearly identical attack pattern to that observed in China.

Said the firm’s Senior Vice President and Chief Security Officer, Dr Boaz Gelbord: “APAC presents a particularly enticing opportunity for successful cyberattacks because the sheer volume of traffic gives attackers the opportunity to gain foothold more easily and operate freely without timely mitigation.”

Business can hence leverage market cyber-analytics to develop strategies that take into account the complex attack patterns of malicious bots during high-traffic seasons to preempt incidents and breaches to protect customers and data.”