Realizing she was out, Gabriella Batalha didn’t think much of it Instagram, It wasn’t until the next day that she discovered her account was full of ads Investments Inside Cryptocurrencies High performance.
The 27-year-old lawyer from Rio de Janeiro had to pay 200 reais (about US$40) to restore his account. “consultant” He says he found a guy on YouTube who might be a scammer. “It took me two days to recover my account and I was very stressed”He explained.
Patalha was not the only one. Online scams on the rise in Brazil 65% Last year, there were more than 200,000, according to data from the Brazilian Public Security Yearbook published last month.
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Across Latin America, online fraud and cyberattacks are “at an all-time high,” said cybersecurity firm Tenable, posing an urgent problem for the well-connected region.
Recent advances in technology inclusion in Latin America have created new opportunities for fraud, experts say, as the epidemic spurs a trend toward mobile banking and shopping using payment systems like Brazil’s most popular PIX.
The region is increasingly online. In 2022, the 77.9% Compared to Latin America and the Caribbean, people used the Internet 74.8% Above the previous year and world rate 66.3%According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
According to a report by Internet security company Kaspersky, half of Latin American Internet users spend an average of six hours a day on social networks.
“Growing dependence on new technologies has made it easier for cybercriminals to attack more often”said Kerry-Ann Barrett, cybersecurity expert at the Organization of American States (OAS).
Threats are becoming more complex and costly, costing the region billions a year, Barrett noted.
In Peru, a gang defrauded a construction company of more than $62,000 by posing as a bank on a fake website, the attorney general’s office said.
In Mexico, fraudsters have targeted unsuspecting victims with fake job offers via text messages, prompting victims to share sensitive personal data, according to local press reports.
“Latin America is a priority target because it has a highly connected population, which means they are always exposed.” said Claudio Martinelli, General Director of Kaspersky for Latin America.
Companies and governments are more vulnerable than the rest of the world. In a 93-country ranking of cyber threat risks compiled by fraud prevention software SEON, nine of the 10 Latin American countries analyzed ranked in the bottom half.
The top 10 countries with the most cyber threats include Honduras, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
The region will have the highest proportion of unsecured data in the world by 2022, making companies vulnerable to threats such as ransomware, an attack that locks a computer and then demands payment to release it.
Ransomware was responsible for six out of 10 attacks in 2022, including a $10 million claim by Russian hackers against the Costa Rican Ministry of Finance.
Latin America’s ability to defend against future attacks is hampered by a lack of regulation and judicial investigations, said Marcos Simplicio, a professor specializing in cybersecurity at the University of São Paulo (USP).
“Virtual crime is no different from physical crime. As long as it produces benefits, and the chances of punishment are minimal, it will continue.”He said.
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