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Cyber-Criminal Training Services for Sale in Brazilian Underground: Trend Micro

Underground cyber-markets have certain goods in common: malware, distributed denial-of-service for hire, etc. But the Brazilian cyber-underground is offering something relatively unique - training.

In a new report, Trend Micro describes a thriving marketplace where service providers offer to train customers to create remote access tools and commit bank fraud.

"What distinguishes the Brazilian underground from others is the fact that it also offers training services for cybercriminal wannabes," according to the whitepaper. "Cybercriminals in Brazil particularly offer FUD (fully undetectable) crypter programming and fraud training by selling how-to videos and providing support services via Skype. Anyone who is Internet savvy and has basic computing knowledge and skill can avail of training services to become cybercriminals. How-to videos and forums where they can exchange information with peers abound underground. Several trainers offer services as well. They even offer support when training ends."

The most popular course among aspiring cyber-criminals is related to bank fraud, the report notes. Beginners start by learning the fraud workflow and are then taught how to obtain the requisite tools and knowledge to start stealing for R$1,499 (US$579). The report also highlighted another 10-module fraud training course on "practically everything cybercriminal wannabes need to know to start their digital fraud career with the aid of interactive guides and practical exercises (e.g., simulating attacks) is also offered for R$1,200 (US$468).support and lifetime updates and can be contacted via Skype."

Many of the online threats in Brazil target local victims, Trend Micro Senior Threat Researcher Fernando Merces explained in a blog postSeveral factors have contributed to the growth of cyber-criminal activity in the country, he added.

"For example, Brazil has a lack of concrete laws and limited law enforcement agency resources that address cybercrime in the country," he noted. "Additionally, the technological and consumer landscape in Brazil, which has a 50% Internet penetration rate, and a 69% credit card penetration rate, has made the country all too appealing for cybercriminals. However, another factor may have also contributed to Brazilian cybercrime: the existence of a flexible underground market with different offerings, ranging from banking Trojan development to online fraud training. The latter is highly notable as this is the most unique item in the market, which may not be found in other underground markets."

Full-featured banking Trojan builders used to create malware that can obtain account credentials for the five biggest banks in Brazil cost R$1,000 (US$386) apiece, according to the report. Bolware kits or toolkits used to create bolware cost around R$400 (US$155). Both have control panels for monitoring and managing infections and malicious activities.

"In Brazil, it’s possible to start a new career in cybercrime armed with only US$500," Merces blogged. "Would-be cybercriminals are supported and helped by tools, forums, and experts from the dark side of the Internet. These bad guys do not fear the authorities and their groups get bigger in a short span of time."

The paper can be viewed here. 

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