Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Entertaining Report on Cybercrime in Brasil

Have you noticed how boring and unreadable most official reports on cyber crime seem to be? They come in various styles of boring from a Russian style that is at least readable to the US Govt style which is in extreme bureaucratic gibberish. Or you have the weird semi-anarchic cyber community with their quasi-rebellious bullshit and psycho-pathological narcissism.

But now at last we have a report that brings some of the excitement and romance of cyber crime in a readable style that is not laden with pseudo-philosophy. It seems to be one of several reports on regional cyber crime by a company called

In this particular report we have a discussion of cybercrime in Brasil which I encourage you to read on your own at this location.

But here are a few tidbits I picked up that I thought were interesting.

1. Cyber criminals in Brasil make very little use of the "dark web", such as Tor for example,  but operate in the open on the "surface web".  This is expected to change in the future as the criminals get more sophisticated and in response to greater law enforcement.

2. Cyber criminals come in two varieties: Developers and Operators. Developers develop the tools and sell or lease them to Operators.  Operators use these tools to attack their targets.

3. There are numerous tutorials and online classes for those who wish to become a cyber criminal in Brasil.  These classes sound very reasonable and one could imagine that they might be helpful even for those who are learning to thwart cyber crime.

4. There also seems to be a robust and healthy infrastructure for the provision of apparatus to help in crime. These include such things as "credit card" skimmers for companies which extracts the information on the card when processing an apparently legitimate credit card transaction.

5. Although there are numerous classes of targets in Brasil, this report does give the impression that the banking industry of Brasil has become very vulnerable.  

6. Many of the Developers are or were computer science students.  Some of them are literally Computer Science students and take time off to study for exams and so forth.  We know this because they post letters of apologies in the forums apologizing to their clients for being unavailable for a certain period. 

7. Both Developers and Operators hold Brasilian law enforcement in contempt.  Apparently the penalties for cyber crime are considered to be very weak and the law enforcement particularly inept.  Presumably this will change in the near future as both are corrected as crime increases.

8. The disastrous Brasilian economy is the prime motivator here.  There is extraordinary poverty and an economy that has stagnated with no obvious way to improve one's standing.  In this, Brasil seems to be very similar to the USA of the last decade.  Thus, the real problem here is not crime but poverty and, apparently, corruption.   Again, very similar to the USA.

9. Finally the report gives the impression that part of the cause of the substantial increase in crime is the result of the failure of the mythology that the rich are people who have earned and deserve to keep their wealth. The impression seems to be that the rich are merely more successful criminals, corrupt politicians or the children or relatives of the former. Again there is a striking similarity to beliefs in the USA.

I would recommend anyone who is unemployed and interested in a new career to read this report.

The following image is not from the report on Brasil, but is an illustration I found on the web of how a credit card skimmer scammer works:

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