Venezuela among the 5 Latin countries with the ...

Venezuela among the 5 Latin countries with the …

August 20, 2014

image006Statistics from Kaspersky Lab revealed that users in Brazil, Peru and Mexico suffered the most from cyber threats in the first half of 2014. Brazil was recognized as the most dangerous country in Latin America in terms of online threats: 10.9 million attacks on the Internet. network affected 29.6% of users. Brazil also demonstrated the highest rate of local threats: 43% of users had to do with 32 million such incidents. Peru followed with 39.8% of users affected by local threats while one in every fourth user in Mexico has faced malware while browsing the Internet. Brazil leads Latin American countries in terms of hosting malicious sites: more than 1.8 million hosts located in that country alone were used in attacks on users around the world during 2014.

The data was released during Kaspersky Lab’s 4th Latin American Summit of Security Analysts, which is taking place in Cartagena, Colombia, where the company presented its research on the most recent threats in the region. Using the cloud-based service Kaspersky Security Network as the main source of information, security analysts studied malware and spam detections in the first half of 2014. The results showed that the entire region has experienced a considerable amount as a whole. cyberthreats related to the FIFA World Cup, many of which were aimed at stealing money. The growth in the total number of IT security incidents is attributed to the large number of tourists who traveled with their mobile devices to other countries and cities.

«Along with the existence of traditional local threats through USBs and social networks, in addition to the development of threats to attack from the network, malware destined for mobile devices and the management of financial transactions has already reached Latin America definitively and is increasingly widespread. Home and business users should keep this in mind and act accordingly, “said Dmitry Bestuzhev, Director of the Global Research and Analysis Team at Kaspersky Lab Latin America.

In the first half of 2014 in Latin America, Kaspersky Lab products neutralized more than 28 million cyberattacks and attempted infections on users’ PCs and mobile devices. Although most of these threats come from the Internet, it should also be mentioned that the highest proportion of malware detections involved previously unknown malware, which was blocked with proactive technologies from Kaspersky Lab.

On the world stage, the absolute numbers mentioned are not that large: for example, the total global share of malicious hosts based in Latin America is less than 0.3%. However, there is one field in which Brazil became the absolute champion – Banking Trojans. In the second quarter Kaspersky Lab registered 87.5 thousand attempts to run financial malware, which is 4 times higher than in Russia, which is in second place. Security experts explain such a spike in activity by pointing to the FIFA World Cup – many unsuspecting tourists use their credit card credentials to make online purchases.

Banking Trojans, which contain online banking URLs for Latin American financial organizations, are a huge threat in the region. The banking sector in the region was the target of many of the attacks by local cybercriminals and international gangs. Banking malware in the region evolves and has become more sophisticated as cybercriminals trade knowledge with cybercriminals in Eastern Europe and other countries around the world. This gives them a great advantage in accelerating both the quantity and especially the quality of their attacks by introducing new advanced infection techniques.

The main spam campaigns of 2014 in Latin America were also related to the World Cup as they offered fake tickets, tempting users on phishing pages or tricking them into downloading and running banking Trojans. There was also a significant increase in the number of classic phishing attacks on Portuguese-language users.

One of the greatest security risks for the region is represented by mobile threats. During the first half of 2014, Kaspersky Security Network reported 4 times more mobile malware incidents related to Latin American users than in the second half of 2013, which can be partly explained by the large increase in the number of Android devices, which is driven by the high rate of BYOD adoption (bring your own device). Governments and sensitive organizations, companies and universities allow users and employees access to the internal network, including email and confidential documents from their personal devices, and this in turn attracts cybercriminals.

In Latin America, the most widespread mobile threats are Trojan-SMS that sends text messages from infected mobile devices to premium classified numbers and aggressive advertising programs. The total number of mobile malware samples in the Kaspersky Lab collection exceeds 365,000 objects. At the end of 2013 there were only 189,000 of them. This is the best example of modern cybercriminal trends.

The most exploited applications in Latin America include Oracle Java (the highest percentage), VLC Player, and Winamp media players (these are mostly vulnerabilities that allow malicious users to gain access to the system and run arbitrary code with the privileges of a local user), WinRAR, and Adobe Reader and Acrobat. Software update continues to be a problem for businesses and home users.

In the last 3 years hacktivism and politically oriented cyberattacks have become more widespread in the region. Hacktivist techniques have evolved in the region and now include tools that can range from DDoS, website defacement, hijacking of social media accounts (official Twitter / Facebook accounts), APT attacks, and botnets.

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