In the realm of e-commerce, Black Friday and Cyber Monday stand as the zenith of consumer and retail engagement. These events, however, have also become hotbeds for fraudulent activities. The digital environment during these peak shopping days creates an attractive landscape for malicious actors, thanks to immense traffic and transaction volumes. The 2023 shopping season notably underscored this vulnerability, witnessing a significant increase in sophisticated cyber attacks. This trend accentuates the pressing need for enhanced cybersecurity measures and heightened awareness, especially as these events continue to expand globally.

The Rising Tide of Cyber Attacks During Holiday Shopping

According to Statista, approximately 1.35 million unique phishing sites were detected worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2022, a number that has been steadily increasing. In early November 2023, a marked escalation in cyber threats emerged, with phishing attacks spiking by an astonishing 237% compared to the previous two months. This increase primarily targeted North American and UK markets, employing sophisticated tactics such as brand impersonation. Attackers skillfully mimicked reputable brands like Amazon and eBay in phishing emails, using intricately designed HTML templates that closely mirrored authentic brand communications. Additionally, these emails often contained malicious links disguised as enticing offers or discounts, a tactic indicative of a broader cybercriminal strategy aimed at exploiting the high-traffic shopping season.

Source: Statista

Furthermore, Imperva's observations during this period highlighted a significant rise in bad bots traffic, accounting for over a quarter of all web traffic to retail sites. The 85% increase in Account Takeover (ATO) attacks on Black Friday, compared to the previous year, underscored the growing intensity and frequency of these threats. Attacks targeting retailers' APIs also saw a significant uptick, representing an emerging frontier in cyber exploits.

The Continuing Impact of Cyber Attacks in E-Commerce

Advancements in AI technologies have broadened the spectrum of cyber threats. The e-commerce realm now faces a rise in fraudulent activities such as fake registrations, malicious logins, sophisticated order inflations, web scraping, and nuanced payment fraud. These threats tend to cluster around the most profitable opportunities, leading to an escalation in fraudulent schemes.

The consequences of these cyber threats go beyond immediate financial losses. Successful phishing attempts can lead to more severe outcomes, including data breaches and Account Takeover (ATO) incidents, causing long-term damage. High-profile incidents, such as the data breach at The Hershey Company, demonstrate the sophistication and personal impact of these attacks. This breach compromised the sensitive information of thousands, including credit card numbers and health data, underscoring the urgent need for robust cybersecurity measures to combat these evolving threats.

Proactive Security Measures are Necessary

In light of the increasing number of promotional events, many e-commerce companies are recognizing the importance of implementing advanced security strategies early on. For instance, DHgate, a leading platform in China for small and medium-sized suppliers, is acutely aware of potential business security issues such as web scraping, malicious transactions, and exploitation of promotions. To ensure sustainable and secure operations in this competitive landscape, DHgate has adopted various security measures, including the integration of GeeTest CAPTCHA V4, aligning with its commitment to deliver high-quality services and safeguard its customers and partners.

The Strategic Advantage of GeeTest in Bot Management

GeeTest has established itself as a trusted bot management solution, serving over 360,000 domains, with a strong presence in the e-commerce and retail sectors. Its features stand out for their innovation, efficacy, and user-friendliness:

  1. Dynamic Bot Defense and Sophisticated Security Strategy: GeeTest adopts a proactive approach to bot defense. Rather than merely blocking threats, it anticipates and outsmarts evolving cyber threats. This adaptability ensures that your platform is always a step ahead of potential attackers. With a dedicated security lab and advanced 7 layer defense strategies, GeeTest is more than a tool; it's a strategic partner in bot mitigation, offering crucial support during peak shopping seasons to maintain robust defenses.
  2. Balancing User Experience and Security: Striking a perfect balance between user experience and security is a complex challenge. GeeTest achieves this equilibrium, providing rigorous yet unobtrusive security solutions. Its customized brand integration extends beyond mere security, enhancing your brand's identity. The customizable interface of GeeTest integrates seamlessly with your site's aesthetics, enriching the user experience without compromising security.
  3. Global Accessibility with Multi-language and Multi-node Support: Recognizing the importance of a diverse global market, GeeTest offers extensive multi-language (supporting 78 languages) and multi-node capabilities. This ensures that no matter where users are located globally, they experience responsive and localized interactions. Such inclusivity in security measures not only fortifies global operations but also enhances the overall user experience, making GeeTest a globally versatile and inclusive security solution.


The surge in sophisticated cyber attacks during key shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday illuminates a critical reality for e-commerce and retail businesses: robust cybersecurity measures are no longer optional but essential. From phishing and bot attacks to data breaches, these threats not only cause immediate financial damage but also erode consumer trust and brand reputation over the long term. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, businesses must proactively adopt advanced security solutions like GeeTest to safeguard their platforms, protect sensitive customer data, and maintain a secure and trustworthy online environment. This commitment to cybersecurity is not just a defensive measure but a strategic imperative in the ever-changing world of e-commerce.

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Selvia Zheng

Marketing Specialist @ GeeTest