CRYPTO PLAYS A BIG PART IN LATIN AMERICA CYBERCRIME
The threat of organized crime, cartels and modern cybercrime has made Latin America one of the main areas of the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Ciphertrace and Intsights have just published a comprehensive announcement on the distribution of cryptocurrencies in Latin America.
Latin America differs from places like the United States, the EU, or other developed countries in that it has no state-sponsored Advanced Perpetual Threat Groups (APTs). Most cybercrime in Latin American countries comes from domestic hackers.
Cybercrime is widespread in Latin America - 69%. The population is online, mainly in Brazil and Colombia. Rapid digitization and political and economic instability have led to explosions, hacking, fraud, money laundering, ransom programs and other crimes in the region.
Most cybercrime cybercrime involves money laundering on P2P or unregulated exchanges or through cryptocurrency hashing services. Ransomware and Dark Networks also sell illegal goods and services.
Threat finance is evolving in Latin America as organized crime groups turn to cryptocurrency to launder large amounts of money and dive into the dark web to find hackers for hire…criminals are taking advantage of unregulated exchanges that do not require registration information and proof of identification for tracking purposes. These illegal exchanges are appealing to criminal groups that are looking to move large amounts of money through untracked channels.
The report continues,
The method used here is similar to mixers, where the actor will deposit Bitcoin into the exchange account and trade it for various Altcoins. Each time a trade is made, it further distances that original payment from its source account.
Many Latin American economies are cash-based, have incomplete or missing AML / CFC standards, and are not regularly implemented. Card or credit card fraud is also popular, and we even saw how cartels collaborate with hackers on complex cybercrime schemes.
WIDESPREAD CORRUPTION MAKES ENFORCEMENT TOUGH
Drug trafficking cartels and cybercrime groups have begun to convert into cryptocurrencies to launder large amounts of illegally obtained funds. Most of this money laundering takes place in mutual exchanges, such as local bitcoins.
In regulated cryptocurrency exchanges and financial institutions such as banks, we see that enforcement of AML / CSCs is hampered by widespread corruption and the ability of criminal groups to bribe through illegal means.
Criminals use dark websites and trading platforms, but they also use open websites such as Facebook, Whatsapp groups, Telegram chat and other social networks. These platforms help them stay connected, share information, redeem software, and sell illegal goods and services.
Many Latin American countries are on the first place in the list of countries involved in money laundering, and although some of them have adopted rules aimed at stopping the illegal flow of funds on the black market, cryptography allows criminal groups to continue to launder money.