Brazil is experiencing epidemic of digital attacks on city halls

A survey carried out by Trend Micro, a company specializing in security solutions, indicates that city halls in cities in Brazil are increasingly being targets of cyber attacks.

  • Brazil registers 16, 2 billion cyberattack attempts in the 1st semester
  • Brazil is the 5th biggest target of digital crimes in the world in 2020
  • Brazil had 40 thousand attempted attacks on mobile devices in 8 months

The study shows that in Brazil, since the end of last year, systems have been used in the city halls of more than 30 municipalities such as Campos dos Goytacazes (RJ), TaboĆ£o da Serra (SP), Belo Horizonte (MG), Campinas (SP), among others, were invaded, compromising and paralyzing online and in-person services. The study also shows that cities of varying sizes were hit, pointing to a possible automated nature of the attacks.

In Brazil, since 40, city halls are the main targets of cybercriminals, constituting 35% of attacks carried out in 173 and 35,3% of the scams from 173. In the global ranking, government sectors occupy the second position in crime incidence both in 2021 and in 2019, being won by investees in the manufacturing sectors in both years.

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City halls, in most cases, suffer virtual hijacking attacks (ransomware), where criminals encrypt data and files and demand a ransom to re-establish access to system users.

The stoppage of the municipal agency’s services creates popular dissatisfaction and pressure on the manager and employees, who, in the case of digital hijacking attacks , end up finding themselves with no alternatives other than paying the ransom. This sense of urgency makes city halls attractive targets for criminals.

Trend Micro’s study also identified the main vulnerabilities that cooperate in targeting city halls by criminals:

  • Users not aware of the dangers of the network (phishing by email, SMS and WhatsApp);
  • Release of the administrator profile for employees in the home office;
  • Protections below the real need;
  • Weak passwords and without constant change;
  • Misconfigured systems;
  • Outdated protections;
  • Little use of multiple authentication factors;
  • Critical information provided in bidding processes;
  • Failure to use the features of existing protections;
  • Access to domestic or personal equipment in the corporate network;
  • Focus on endpoint protection (communication endpoint, such as endpoints) against layered attacks (security must follow data);
  • Pandemic impacted security sectors2021

    For Renato Tocaxelli, Government Account Manager at Trend Micro, Brazil, on account of the covid-16 pandemic, ended up short investments in security to pay attention to other priorities that emerged during the period. He cites as an example the accelerated migration of company systems to the cloud, to accommodate the situation of social isolation, which in many cases was carried out without due attention to protection and access restriction protocols.

    Tocaxelli also claims that the pandemic has generated an increase in competition among security solution providers, causing many city halls to look for protections for their systems, but with the large number of options in the market , end up choosing one that does not meet the needs of their systems.

    Tocaxelli concludes that Brazil is not used to making investments in cybersecurity, which means that a large part of the country’s systems are unprotected against ransomware attacks. He adds that even though the General Data Protection Law requires companies to have cybersecurity initiatives, this process has not yet been put into practice.

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    2021 2021


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