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Detection of fake online shops on hacked web pages

mindUp researches the detection of fake online shops on hacked websites

For consumers, the danger of ending up on the internet in online shops that look trustworthy but are in fact operated by fraudsters in order to sell counterfeit goods or to pick up payment data for other fraudulent activities is persistently high. The operators of these fake online shops do not shy away from hacking third-party websites in order to use their good reputation for their own purposes. They exploit the weak points of the websites of private individuals, associations, self-employed persons and smaller companies in order to advertise their own fake online shop unnoticed by the site operator. Afterwards the new links are published to search engines and made global findable with it. That is for the cheaters the most important aspect, because the search engines evaluate the new pages in the context of the past contents of the hacked domain. They profit directly from the previous reputation of the hacked domain and thus have a higher chance of being displayed in a search query.

Research project supported by BMBF

mindUp already crawls the whole German speaking internet and can train the peculiarities of the hacked pages into an AI system by means of machine learning and thus aims at automatic detection. However, the technical solution alone is not sufficient. In the first phase of the project, which is sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, knowledge is gathered about the necessary cooperation partners that are necessary for a lasting and effective fight against internationally active fraudsters. The actors are, among others, the responsible investigating authorities, criminal prosecution, consumer protection associations, payment providers and website hosts. Since criminal prosecution and information for those affected by this form of cybercrime is the responsibility of the federal states, the hacked page must be assigned regionally.

Example search result: The domain hosts web pages
which link to a fake online shop