Common eCommerce Security Threats

May 18, 2022, Learn eTutorial

Ecommerce is a very common name in our present life. We are using an e-commerce platform for various purposes in daily life. What is the definition of E-commerce? E-commerce can be defined as the activity that we conduct using the internet that involves commercial transactions. Also includes the activity of buying and selling through the internet and payments that we doing through the internet.

In our present situation, we cannot define all the situations in which we are using the E-commerce platform but some of them are mobile commerce, internet marketing, online transfers, online purchase, Electronic fund transfers, online selling, and many more.

How a threat is caused by E-commerce? It is the same as some criminals or people who are using the e-commerce platform for illegal and unfair activities like stealing of user sensitive information, Fraud, and security breaches. There are mainly three methods that a security breach happens in E-commerce that is,

  1. Accidental
  2. Purposeful
  3. Human error

Electronic Payments System

Electronic payment system is the backbone of e-commerce, electronic fund transfer, and buying and selling through the internet. We already know the use of online stores like Amazon or Walmart, which helps to save our time and money with a huge number of selections. 

With the online stores, customers can select different items from different sellers and it helps to get more quality items. Let us come to our point, all the transactions in E-commerce are done through payment systems. 

It is a revolutionary concept that helps to make transactions without paper money. It helps to make our ecosystem better by conserving the trees, every government promotes e-payment.
With E payment system, business owners can reduce labor costs and transaction time, and efforts. It takes less time than traditional paper money. It also helps the customers not to carry an amount in their pockets but rather a credit or debit card. 

While this concept is very good and has high potential, there are some risks associated with this electronic payment system. They are,

Probability of Frauds

Electronic payment systems have a huge risk of fraud transactions because of the authorization system. Mostly almost all the payment systems authorize a client to use a password and or a security question. 

It does not give any other means to authorize the person on the other side is genuine or not. If any cyber-criminal gets a user's password and matches a security question, all the electronic payment security is compromised an attacker can easily steal the money using that payment system.

Difficulty in Tax collection

Every country has a tax system and each business owner should submit the truncations and business financial records to the tax department. In the Electronic payment system, they don’t give a clear picture to the department about all the transactions which makes the tax collection complicated and frustrating.

Probability in Payment conflicts

We know that humans do not handle electronic payment systems, it is controlled and processed by machines, which is prone to errors when it is assigned to handle a huge amount of transactions in a short time. We have to be careful using such payment transactions when a huge amount of transactions is happening because it can result in conflicts.


E-cash is the latest method of transaction using cash that is paperless, it is a virtual concept of cash that may be stored in an account or a card that can able to use for transactions and shopping. For example, Google pay, Paytm, PayPal, etc. E-cash is designed using four major components which are,

  1. Issuers: The entity that creates the E-cash that may be a bank or non-bank institution.
  2. Customers: The end users who are supposed to use the E-cash or their transactions
  3. Merchants or Traders: These are the vendors who are ready to accept the E-cash transactions
  4. Regulators: These are the state or country entities who are supposed to regulate the E-cash flow in the market.

E-cash is virtual cash that is stored on a computer or in the internet, which has the risk of being attacked by cybercriminals. Some of the main known types of attacks in E-cash system are,

  1. BACKDOOR THREATS: it is a common type of attack in which the attacker can able to bypass all the security mechanisms and can access to the user account and able to do transactions.
  2. DENIAL OF SERVICE ATTACKS: It is a popular attack is called a DOS attack where the attacker makes the network resources busy by sending junk requests thereby preventing the genuine users to do their transactions.
  3. DIRECT ACCESS ATTACKS: It is a physical attack where the attackers use the computer of the user and install malware to steal their passwords and use such systems for transactions.
  4. EAVESDROPPING: in this method, the attacker silently interferes in the network and overhears the communications that are happening in the network. Eavesdropping is a silent attack where the sender or receiver cannot able to detect the attacker's presence.

Credit or Debit card fraud

A credit card is a type of card that is issued by banks to the users in which the users can able to borrow money from the bank to doing a purchase. Every card has a limitation for the amount which varies according to the users. The payment that users borrow from the bank has to pay back at the specified time with some additional cost.

A debit card is also a card that is issued by banks, which can be used by the users for doing transactions. The difference is, using the debit card the users can access only the amount that is in their account.

Some of the major risks associated with the credit or debit cards are,

  1. ATM: Automated teller Machines are the place we can take the money using our cards which is the favorite spot for attackers to access the sensitive information from our cards. Cybercriminals use many methods for accessing our card details and some of them are,
  2. SKIMMING: It is a method that which the attackers attack a machine to the card reader that can able to get the details of the user card to attackers.
  3. UNWANTED PRESENCE: In this method, the attacker tries to overlook through our shoulders to get the card details while we are accessing the ATM machine
  4. PHISHING: It is the method that which an attacker gets sensitive information from the user by sending emails or messages.