News in brief: cyber threats, Brazil, Russia, Brexit

News in brief
News in brief

Cybercriminals in different countries teaming up

Cybercriminals on opposite sides of the world have overcome time differences and language barriers to foster a close cooperation that is driving a rapid evolution of the malicious tools used in attacks.

According to Kaspersky Lab researchers, the Brazilian and Russian cybercrime underground are two of the most visible markets to security researchers due to their relative openness, high level of activity and large number of online forums used by criminals to communicate with each other. Historically, both markets have developed independently from each other. However, the investigation by Kaspersky Lab researchers shows that Brazilian and Russian-speaking criminals have established a system of cooperation in recent years. Brazilian criminals seek out samples on Russian underground forums, buying new crimeware and ATM/PoS malware, or offering their own services. And this trade is two-way, with cooperation helping to speed up malware evolution.

“Just a few years ago, Brazilian banking malware was very basic and easy to detect. With time, however, the malware authors have adopted multiple techniques to avoid detection, including code obfuscation, root and bootkit functions and so on, making their malware much more sophisticated and harder to combat. This is thanks to malicious technologies developed by Russian-speaking criminals. And this cooperation works both ways,” said Kaspersky Lab researcher Thiago Marques.

Brexit drives investors to the dollar

Investors are piling into the dollar - and they are likely to continue to do so for the next two and a half months.

However due to the Federal Reserve’s dovish tone and possibility of Brexit, the dollar has lost ground against pound, affirms the Head of Foreign Exchange at one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations.

The comments from deVere Group’s James Stanton come as sterling hit a nine-day high earlier this week against the dollar.

Mr Stanton comments: “The Fed, and foreign exchange traders, reduced their expectations of further rate hikes this year to just two - and for these to be highly dependent on ongoing strong economic data. This helped pull the dollar back against most major currencies, including sterling.

“This situation, combined with the uncertainty surrounding the possibility of the UK leaving the EU, is driving investors to pile into the greenback. They are certainly not resting on their laurels as far as sterling is concerned.”

Stanton concluded that sterling will be highly sensitive to the risk of Brexit over the coming months, but that a vote in favour of remaining in the EU could see sterling to jump to the $1.50 level.