Study Finds Latin America Ranks High for Financial Data Theft

Latin America accounts for only a small percentage of global phishing attacks, yet has one of the highest rates of phishing aimed at stealing financial data, according to the Russian multi-national computer security firm Kaspersky Lab.

In a release to accompany its
‘Virtual Financial Threats 2013’
study, Kaspersky reported that the region accounted for 3.56% of phishing attacks worldwide in 2013. Last year, about 39.6m users around the world are said to have been victims, up 2.32% from 2012.

The company added that 2013 saw a dramatic increase in the number of finance-related attacks and warned that cybercriminals are stepping up their efforts to obtain confidential user information and steal bank accounts by creating fake websites that mimic financial organisations’ sites.

On a global level, the share of attacks using fake social networking pages increased by 6.79% from 2012 and reached 35.4% last year, while the share of financial attacks grew 8.5% and accounted for 31.5% of the total. In Latin America, though, the share of phishing aimed at the theft of financial data was above the global average, at 36%, Kaspersky said.

Among other findings of the research, 22.2% of all attacks involved fake bank websites, and the share of banking phishing doubled compared in 2013 from the previous year. Almost three in every five banking phishing attacks exploited the names of just 25 international banks, while the remainder used the names of more than 1,000 other banks.

Brazil remained the most-targeted Latin American country in 2013, according to Kaspersky, and was ranked 10th in a global ranking of nations by targets of phishing attacks in 2013, being targeted by 1.92% of total attacks.

In 2013, the majority of phishing attacks blocked by Kaspersky Lab targeted users in the US (30.8%), followed by Russia (11.2%) and Germany (9.32%)

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