Mexico, Brazil and Peru are listed as the countries in Latin America with the highest malware development….
Mexico is the second country most attacked by hackers in the region, but it also is one of the three Latin countries in which are located the majority of malware developers, specializing in the development of malware that hack the financial network of countries and commercial banks.
This malwares are 100% local creations or in some cases hacks inspired by European campaigns, but adapted to harm the local population, especially through the financial system.
On this scale, Mexico ranks second after Brazil in malware development, and according to Fabio Assolini, senior analyst of the research team at Kaspersky Lab, the expertise of Mexican hackers is banking Trojans.
“In Mexico, the majority of the banking Trojans are already local developments. But when we find a new sample, with new technique, we know that this comes from outside,” says the analyst.
Currently in the region, the analyst notes that the number of attacks by financial malware has escalated, from 2015 to date. On average 1,300 attacks per year are recorded; however in the last eight months of 2017, 1,000 threats were already detected in the region.
Although there is still no specific number of attacks per country, Assolini described that some of the reasons why this type of malware proliferates in the region is because “Latin cybercriminals want immediate results” and this is a simple way, and these payment platforms concentrate a considerable volume of transactions, both small and large, which makes this attractive.
In addition, in countries such as Mexico, where electronic commerce is still beginning and the banking population hasn’t developed all their online potential yet, Assolini remarked that hackers enjoy what is known in the industry as “eternal September”, which refers to when in the beginning of the internet in the ninth month of the year, new people — neophytes — were allowed to enter the web for the first time without knowing anything about it.
This implies that there will always be new users accessing to the system, who ignore how it works and its risks, so that the financial sector prevails as a fertile field for this kind of attacks.
Thiago Marques, an analyst at Kaspersky added that while the development of malware in Mexico is on the rise and there are campaigns that have been created 100% locally, much of its inspiration comes from the communication that these criminals have with hackers from Eastern Europe through forums in the network.
An example of malware adapted to Mexico are the botnets, which, Assolini explained that although they used to connect them to Internet Relay Chat (IRC) messaging systems, to control a PC network, Mexican hackers evolved the format by linking zombie computer networks through an account of the Telegram message app.
Although there are conditions in the national or Latin American market for financial attacks to occur, for Assolini, the prevalence of these attacks has a deeper reason that has to do with the behavior of the user that prefers to apply a preventive measure to being protected than attack the problem.
“Phishing and these attacks are very difficult to combat because they exploit human innocence. It is very complicated to make people understand that this is a fraud,” he stated.
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