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Brazilian Fraudsters Target Almost $4 Billion in Payments

Economic benefits from hosting the 2014 World Cup aren’t the only thing hitting the Brazilian economy right now. It has come to light that Brazil might be dealing with an organized cybercrime operation that sought to compromise over $3.75 billion in transactions.

The security breach targeted Boleto Bancário, or Boletos, a popular Brazilian payment method that is used for a variety of payments transactions like telephone bills and mortgage payments. The breach affected over 192,227 victims and 495,793 Boletos transactions worth $3.75 billion, according to researchers at RSA security division of EMC Corp., the New York Times reported. However, it is unclear how much of the $3.75 billion was actually stolen.

After a three-month study, RSA researchers in Brazil, Israel and the U.S. found that the ring had been using over 19 Bolware variants, a malware first detected in 2012, for bilking Boltos payments and redirecting the money to accounts of criminals or mules, which are used to be stand-ins for the criminals.

“Cybercrime is a lot more rampant in Brazil than it is in the United States, and in many ways Brazil has been the trendsetter in cybercrime,” said Avivah Litan, a cybersecurity analyst at Gartner.

Officials from Febraban, which regulates Boletos, said Brazilian banks spent over $910 million on digital currency and were encouraging customers to migrate to Debit Authorization, or D.D.A, a more secure payment platform.

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