Brazilian Banks Lose R$1.8bn to Cybercrime


Cybercrime cost Brazilian banks R$1.8bn in 2015.

This figure has just been released by the Federação Brasileira dos Bancos (Febraban). It revealed that cyber criminals are easily stealing people’s financial data in order to make illegal financial transactions.

Feeding this kind of electronic fraud is the increasing use of the internet, especially via the smartphone, to conduct banking business. Figures show that in just the first half of 2015 alone, nearly 60% of financial transactions were made via the internet or mobile banking applications.

And it’s the banks who are having to bear the brunt of the criminal activity, reimbursing the customer and rarely tracking down those who are responsible for the fraud.

The most common method of fraud is when a consumer tries to make an online transaction and their personal data is stolen, which is then used by the criminal to direct the payment into their account. Another popular way that criminals use to steal money is by the cloning of debit and credit cards.

The collection of an individual’s data is quite easy and often is down to virus software which sits on people’s computers, and copies passwords and personal information used to access e-Commerce shopping websites. These are called Trojans and can be installed via phishing emails and from fake internet pages.

Virus software is generally known as Malware and is a big problem in Brazil, as well as many countries around the globe. Indeed, the sale of such programmes, as well as the sale of people’s information, is big business in Brazil.

Brazilian banks are investing huge amounts to combat such crime. Figures show that in 2014, the banks spent in total around R$2bn in researching and developing of prevention software. This compares to R$1.6bn in 2010.

Evenso, the problem continues and much of the techniques and software used by cyber criminals in Brazil originates from Eastern Europe, say the experts. And what worries them, is that new, sophisticated Malware programmes are now being used to target smartphones that use the Android operating system. This greatly widens the net of potential users who can be targeted by the criminals.

This will continue to present banks and the authorities with a major challenge throughout the second half of the decade.

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Reference: Diário do Comércio