A life of cybercrime, a caipirinha and a tan: Fraudsters love a Brazilian

School of Crooks in South America


Brazil is the only market that offers training services for cybercriminal wannabes, making it possible to start a new career in cybercrime for just $500.

Training modules, hands-on exercises, interactive guides, instructional videos, as well as post-training support are available, according to a new report of the Brazilian cybercrime underground by Trend Micro. Cybercrime teachers in the soccer-loving Samba-loving South American nation offer FUD (fully undetectable) crypter programming and fraud training through a combination of how-to videos and support services via Skype.

Cybercriminals continued to take advantage of Brazil’s high online and mobile banking penetration to turn a dishonest buck.

Unlike their Chinese and Russian counterparts who use obscure channels to make themselves untraceable, Brazilian cybercriminals conduct their business out in the open using mediums such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Skype, and WhatsApp to communicate, organise and advertise. IRC channels, deep web forums, private servers, and encrypted text chat software are used by other crooks.

Several economic and law enforcement factors have contributed to the growth of the cybercrime market in Brazil.

"Brazil has a lack of concrete laws and limited law enforcement agency resources that address cybercrime in the country," writes Fernando Mercês, a senior threat researcher at Trend Micro. "Additionally, the technological and consumer landscape in Brazil, which has a 50 per cent internet penetration rate, and a 69 per cent credit card penetration rate, has made the country all too appealing for cybercriminals."

A blog post from Trend Micro with more detail can be found here. The associated white-paper can be downloaded here (PDF).

Brazil is well known in security circles for its association with banking malware, largely targeting local victims. In related news, Kaspersky Lab's Threatpost news service warns that Brazilian banking Trojan malware samples had surfaced on the Android Play Store.

Brazil was the country most attacked by banking malware, according to Kaspersky Lab's latest quarterly figures, stats that back up Trend's thesis that Brazil has become a global hotspot for cybercrime. ®

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