A profile of cybercrime in Latin America

We take a look at cybercrime in Latin America, in terms of why it's unique and why businesses should be paying attention.

When we think of cyberattack capabilities on an international scale, many of us - especially in the west - are probably inclined to think about state-sponsored activity originating out of places like China, Russia, and Iran. While it's certainly true that these countries are ramping up their cyberwarfare proficiency and do pose significant threats to organisations around the globe, it's always worth considering that attacks aren't merely isolated within the borders of these high-profile cyber-advanced nations, and state-sponsored groups aren't always to blame.

There are a range of international geographies within which cybercrime - perpetrated by independent hackers as opposed to nation states groups - is becoming increasingly sophisticated and posing more and more of a threat. One region that has traditionally been overlooked when it comes to cybercrime is Latin America. As a result, much of the activity within LATAM has largely snuck under the radar.

The truth is, though, that Latin America has an increasingly sophisticated and entirely unique ecosystem of cybercrime, spurred by a range of political, economic and technological elements that are making the practice more attractive to both new and established adversaries.

Threat intelligence firm IntSights recently published a report - the Dark Side of Latin America - that looks into the culture of cybercrime that is currently quite prevalent within Latin America. The report explores how things like cryptocurrency, organised crime, and governmental strain are creating a cybercrime ecosystem that is causing devastating damage to businesses within the region and beyond.

The state of cybercrime in LATAM

There are a range of factors in Latin America that are each contributing to a perfect storm of cyber-criminal activity. This includes an unstable geopolitical situation, economic struggles, government corruption, internet censorship, bribery, and organised crime, the latter of which presents a particularly challenging set of unique issues due to its prevalence in the region as a whole.

As well as this, there has been an influx of internet connectivity and digital services getting switched on in LATAM, especially when it comes to things like ecommerce and online banking. This has also acted as a catalyst for cybercrime, in that the tools are increasingly accessible, and the local populations are more susceptible to attacks. 

To continue reading this article register now