Brazilian army puts together cyber defence team

Panda Security has donned its camouflage and teamed up with the Brazilian army to wage war on unknown malware and internet threats.

Trend Micro has praised the government for its initiative but said there is more that needs to be done.

The security firm will provide endpoint protection for 37,500 computers belonging to the Army’s Military Commands around the country. It will also train its operational agents involved in the fight against cyber-terrorism, digital crime and strategic intervention for cyber-warfare.

Panda’s anti-malware lab will work with the Army’s Cyber-Warfare Communication Centre to train those involved in the scientific and forensic investigation of cyber-crime.

The collaboration involves the exchange of malware samples and the company will provide a rapid response and classification within 24 hours of malicious codes affecting Brazil.

Security outlet Trend Micro has praised the Brazilian government for its initiative but has said more can be done to fight these threats by the country and internationally.

Rik Ferguson, senior security advisor at Trend Micro, told TechEye: “Brazil has been a source of a large amount of banking malware targeting users’ bank accounts. There is a large and established cybercrime economy in Brazil and Latin America.

“It’s good to see governments taking the challenge of online crime seriously. Unfortunately of course it is not possible to guarantee 100 percent security in an interconnected world.”

He added that effective security needs to focus on the threats as a whole – not on individual threat vectors. For example, attempting to detect only malicious files offers only baseline security when you consider a new malicious file is created every 1.3 seconds.

“Effective security should also be blocking threats at their source and should secure against the exploitation of vulnerabilities in applications and operating systems.

“Let’s not forget that the human factor is often the greatest risk in any environment. It is important that effective security focuses heavily on ongoing training to reduce the twin risk of complacency and ignorance,” he added.

He also called on countries to get together to form an international treaty with laws on cyber crime.

“ISPs need to step up too and make sure they alert their customers if their machines are infected or block infected machines from sending out spam,” he added.

Brazilian army brigadier general Santos Guerra said the Brazilian Cyber-Warfare Communication Centre will benefit from the knowledge and experience accumulated by Panda in the fight against cyber crime.

“We have approximately 60,000 computers throughout the country and we suffer an average of 100 intrusion attempts each day across our 12 IT centres. We want to protect the integrity of our systems and be prepared for any potentially critical situation,” Guerra said.

Earlier this year India ramped up its IT “defence” by getting together top IT workers and “ethical hackers” from across the country to form an elite “cyber army” – presumably worried about its shaky neighbours.