Brazilian federal police have delivered the cybercrime Holy Grail by arresting a man suspected to be one of the world’s biggest phishers. Valdir Paulo de Almeida allegedly masterminded a $37 million operation, ripping-off recipients of phishing emails.
Almeida and his team of 18 purportedly spammed phishing emails to millions customers every day. Each contained a keylogging device intended to store information such as account details.
“This is the latest arrest of phishers in Brazil – last year, more than 50 arrests were made and in February, a gang of four were arrested. It’s great that the Brazilian authorities are stamping down on internet fraudsters,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at anti-virus company Sophos. “Most computer users are aware of the threat from phishing emails that direct online bank users to fake websites, but some are still unaware of the threat from trojans which can surreptitiously steal hard-earned cash without any warning.”
Brazilian cybercrime has been on the rise over recent years, with virus writers, spam gangs and organised crime hitting headlines. In February SC reported a Brazilian hacking group had defaced the website of Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise’s latest epic War of the Worlds.