PwC: Cyber Criminals Targeting Emerging Markets

Lucas Gilmore, “Big 4″ observer
February 21, 2011 /

PricewaterhouseCoopers has revealed in a report that cyber criminals are now shifting their attacks towards emerging markets, especially those engaging with carbon emission trades which promote low carbon technologies but whose security measures have not yet grown to combat online attacks.

Brazil and India are among the leading countries that PwC said on December 2010 will see a large reduction in their carbon emission. Its analysis suggested that Brazil will hit a 79 percent decrease in carbon emission reduction from the 5.4 percent it recorded since 2000, while India will have cut off its carbon emission 20-25 percent by 2020 as targeted by its government.

In recent years, low carbon technologies have helped emerging markets attract investors because of the business sustainability being offered up front. But PwC’s report alarms these emerging emerging markets to beef up their security measures.

Cyber criminals are targeting these emerging markets to exploit the vulnerabilities of their systems and extract information which they could use for illegal profit. For example, Greece and Austria have recently suffered from security breaches. These countries are members of the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).

According to reports, cyber criminals have stealthily transferred roughly two million EU emission allowances (EUAs) from certain trading accounts, or 28 million euros. Others reported higher losses. These compromised accounts have been temporarily suspended following the attack.

PwC’s report said these cyber criminals attacking emerging markets are based in near regions in the European Union.

In 2010, unsuspecting employees from German companies have received bogus emails allegedly sent by phishers through seemingly legitimate but bogus registries.

The phishing schemes were to ask employees to disclose their accounts in a registration, and when successfully received by cyber criminals, the information such as email address and other personal data were used in security breaches leading to losses amounting to 3 million euros in Germany and 1.6 EUAs in Romania.


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