The fastest growing sector of global organised crime is cyber-crime. Internet banking and credit-card fraud is increasing at a rate of about 40 percent per year and is estimated to be worth around $100 billion annually.
As Misha Glenny finds out in the final part of this series, How Crime Took on the World, there are particular reasons for this – not least the fact that Brazil has one of the most sophisticated banking systems in the world. This is because for many years, the Brazilians operated a protectionist economic system, and therefore developed its own highly skilled IT workforce.
And there is a rich, tempting market for cyber criminals in Brazil. Although only 14 percent of the population are regular internet users, that’s still close to 30 million people. Three-quarters of them do the bulk of their financial transactions on line.
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