Study on Cybercrime in the LAC Region: e-Commerce Fraud Doubles

24/02/2014

Link: http://www.proyectoamparo.net/es/investigaciones

Throughout the region, e-commerce fraud accounts for a total of USD 430 million, while online bank-theft exceeds USD 50 million per year. Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Chile are the countries most affected by this problem.

The magnitude of cybercrime in Latin America is truly a cause for concern, as attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and have expensive consequences for the population in general. According to the second Overview of Cybercrime in Latin America, identity theft has cost over USD 1100 million.

According to the study conducted with the support of the AMPARO Project, an initiative of the Internet Address Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean (LACNIC), last year the cost of e-commerce fraud in Latin America increased from USD 196 million to USD 430 million.

Furthermore, online bank phishing causes the region’s financial institutions to lose USD 26 million, while spear phishing causes their customers the loss of an additional 24 million.

The study’s authors, Patricia Prandini and Marcia Maggiore, warn that “criminals are adapting their strategies and using increasingly sophisticated, combined and targeted attacks, among them spear phishing and cyber espionage.”

Likewise, the study highlights that “a growing interest in mobile devices, social networks and critical infrastructure” has been observed.”

The work also notes “the development of tools for the commission of cybercrimes in the Latin American and Caribbean region itself, in addition to local cases of hacktivism.”

Multi-Million Dollar Impact.- Brazil leads the Latin American ranking of countries with the highest levels of cybercrime (malware, spam, phishing, bots, network attacks), followed by Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, and Chile. “Given their economic impact, it is worth noting that phishing attacks have increased more than 20% in our region, which is more than they have increased at global level, while the number of domains used for this activity has doubled worldwide,” noted the authors.

In the case of botnets, Latin America was the region most affected by the so-called dorkbot, with over 80 thousand bots (44% of them in Chile, 15% in Peru and 11% in Argentina).

These are but a few examples, as spam, data breaches, banking Trojans, mobile device and social network attacks, among others, are also affecting the region.

Alert and Ready.- The Overview of Cybercrime in Latin America points to the fact that the speed of technological development within the region and the resulting increase of cybercrime rates require “creating action plans that take into account the region’s culture and development while showing that it is feasible to create a secure environment that will guarantee the maximum benefits of information and communication technologies and minimize the accompanying risks.”

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