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Brazil's cyber criminal underground economy is booming

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January 13, 2016

It's now a well-known fact that Brazil's economy is headed towards a major recession, but its cybercriminal underground economy is as strong as ever with hackers and online miscreants very busy in causing crimes against the internet community, according to new security research done by Trend Micro.

The research firm's new report is the latest in a series of papers it has published in recent months that analyze regional online crime economies including North America, Japan, China, Russia and Germany.

To be sure, Brazil has had an influx of new cybercriminals lately to its online communities who use anonymity when draining user bank accounts with malware and then openly boast of their success to whom ever wishes to listen.

Those include developers looking for money in the country's bludgeoned economy. A person calling himself "Lord Fenix" is perhaps king of the new breed of online criminals, having written no less than one-hundred trojans, worms and viruses as of last year, starting off in high-school and still active in his early twenties.

"The new and fastest route to cybercriminal superstardom can now be found in Latin America, particularly in Brazil," Trend Micro has confirmed.

"And given that cybercriminal activities are not as heavily penalized in Brazil as in other regions like North America, Brazilian cybercriminals publicly promote their operations," the firm added.

"Cybercriminals in Brazil are very bold and simply don’t care if law enforcement agencies see their names posted online in relation to illegal activities," said Trend Micro.

Several guides and entire three-month long training courses are available to help potential hackers enter Brazil's online crime communities.

Students shelling out the $70 fee will learn to pop databases, setup botnets and malware, and how to handle end-to-end credit card theft including cashing out.

Students can learn how to build crypters, critical to hiding malware from anti-virus systems.

Incredibly, mature phishing, DNS changers, and keylogging malware are also on offer across Brazil's crime forums.

Fraudsters can bypass all of that and pay less than $150 for a fortnight's access to hacked banking 'shopping panels' that can 'lift' up to seventy credit cards a day or more.

And this isn't all bank-related malware-- criminal personal information search services are also on offer, as are counterfeit goods, fake passports, fraudulent diplomas, ATM and point of sales skimmer hardware, as well as localized ransomware.

The list is extensive, and various 'search services' claim to have access to vehicle licence plates and possibly the nation's health card system as well.

Additionally, malicious Android apps are an emergent and booming segment of online criminal money-making in Brazil, thanks in large part to the country's huge 142 percent mobile penetration rate in its largest cities.

Source: Trend Micro.

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