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Phishing causes US$93bn in annual loses for some 2,500 banks operating in Latin America, regional press reported, citing a study by the Internet Address Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean (Lacnic).
According to the study, an additional US$761mn is stolen from clients' bank accounts due to this threat.
The most affected countries are Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.
The study has identified 16 malicious websites that, every week, attack the systems of Latin American banks. These attacks are attributed to the easy access to banks' databases of credit card numbers and other sensitive data - information that is available for US$200 in the black market.
"Threats are more complex and sophisticated. A new criminal business model has been created, widely exploited through the internet, fueling a clandestine economy that is growing exponentially every day," one of the authors of the study, Patricia Prandini, was quoted as saying.
Criminals are taking advantage of technological weaknesses, gaps in legislation and a lack of awareness on users' part, according to the study.