iovation Finds 30 Percent Of Transactions Conducted From Tor Are Fraudulent

Company also announced general availability of a new capability for its flagship Reputation Manager 360 service

September 19, 2013

3 Min Read


PORTLAND, Ore. – September 17, 2013 – iovation, stopping Internet fraud and identifying good online customers with the world's most comprehensive device reputation database, today announced 30.2 percent of transactions conducted from Tor (the onion router) in August were fraudulent. This compared with an overall fraud rate of 1% for all online transactions in August. The company also announced the general availability of a new capability for its flagship fraud-fighting Reputation Manager 360 service that enables online businesses to expose devices leveraging Tor for transactions.

Tor is a privacy protocol that is intended to help people to browse the Internet anonymously. It does so by redirecting web traffic along hard-to-follow routes and assigning web users a random IP address that can change at any time. This helps to mask users' true geolocations and the IP addresses of their Internet-connected devices. According to Tor metrics, more than 1.5 million people use Tor every day as of early September 2013, up from 500,000 a day in early August 2013.

"Cybercriminals are always looking for ways to fly under the radar," said Scott Waddell, Chief Technology Officer at iovation. "While Tor on its surface appears to be for the greater good, it is disproportionately used for fraudulent and abusive transactions. Of note, Tor use more than doubled in August, likely due to a massive botnet leveraging Tor for command and control communications."

The fraud findings were produced by iovation by analyzing 240 million transactions conducted in August 2013 originating from the 1.5 billion devices it has in its device reputation database. Transactions utilizing Tor were identified by iovation by leveraging technology it developed to correlate transactions to IP addresses that are part of Tor.

The same technology iovation leveraged to measure Tor-related fraud will be generally available to iovation customers starting today. By identifying high-risk devices and transactions specifically using Tor, iovation customers gain an additional level of insight that can have significant uplift in the battle to reduce fraudulent activity.

This new feature is available free of charge for customers of iovation's ReputationManager 360. The service leverages current and past device behavior intelligence to stop fraud. With this intelligence, iovation stops more than 200,000 fraud attempts daily, proactively identifying devices that are associated with abuse and stopping bad actors before they can strike.

About iovation

iovation protects online businesses and their end users against fraud and abuse through an industry-leading combination of advanced device identification, shared device reputation and real-time risk evaluation. More than 2,300 fraud managers around the globe leverage iovation's database of Internet devices and the relationships between them to determine the level of risk associated with any type of online transaction. Retail, financial services, insurance, social network, gaming and other companies make real-time queries to iovation's knowledge base of more than 1.5 billion devices from every country in the world. Clients also leverage iovation's Fraud Force Community, an exclusive virtual crime-fighting network of the world's foremost security experts, to share intelligence about cybercrime and prevention techniques. Every day, iovation stops more than 200,000 fraud attempts. For more information, visit

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