Email Protection: The best defense against Brazil’s latest live scam

Adrien Gendre

November 15, 2016

3 min


Email protection is more important than ever as new scams seem to pop up every day. Between the business email compromise (BEC), fake Dropbox login pages, and QR code scams, phishing attacks are occurring all the time. And they are becoming increasingly damaging. Although these scams all seem to be fundamentally different, they all have one thing in common. They all begin with an email. Email attacks are an integral part of 92% of all network attacks-- including the most recent live phishing scam from Brazil.

All phishing and spear phishing attacks begin with email.

Brazil’s Live Phishing Scam


Live Phishing Scam You can trust me. Really.


Brazil’s most recent phishing scam, like all the others, starts with an email. An email encourages victims to click on a link that leads them to a fake web page from their bank. They are then prompted to interact with a “customer representative,” to “upgrade” their account. In reality, this opens a live session with a hacker looking to steal credentials. This type of message can be very hard for standard email protections to block because they are often sent as individually targeted one-off “spear phishing” emails with unique URLs that do not trigger any blacklists.

Hackers attempt to obtain credentials through chat by asking a variety of socially engineered questions. While chatting, they also push apparently legitimate bank web pages to the victim. However, the web site is a carefully constructed fake that can also steal user names and passwords.

Hackers interact with victims over real-time chat to obtain credentials and make fraudulent transactions.

Having the victim available in real time allows the hacker to both stall and try out the credentials on the real bank website. If any of the information is incorrect they can push a fake error message and ask for the information again. Once the hacker has obtained all the information needed, they access the victim’s account and start on a fraudulent transaction. Once finished, they inform the user that the “update was successful, but do not attempt to access your account for 24 hours.” This allows adequate time for the fraudulent transaction to be processed and completed.

As of now, this scam seems to be only popping up in Brazil, and mainly aimed at consumers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you or your company is safe. This threat could be on its way to the US and Europe soon and is easily modified to drain the accounts of small and medium sized businesses as well as foreign subsidiaries of very large ones.

So what can you do to protect your organization’s bank accounts?

Email Protection

The best way to protect your organization from these types of scams is with strong email protection. Unfortunately, many dangerous emails slip past normal filtering systems, which is why state-of-the-art filtering is becoming a necessity.

Vade Secure offers comprehensive email security with a variety of features that provide protection against email-borne threats:

  • Initial filtering: Emails are analyzed for known phishing and malware signatures including executable files. This quickly weeds out all common and mass attacks.
  • Anti-Malware:
    • We read the code embedded not just in executable files but Office documents, PDFs, and more.
    • This in-depth proprietary defense system is bolstered by two external anti-virus solutions.
  • URL Exploration: All URLs are examined to be sure they do not link to malware, phishing sites, or any other malevolent site. Unlike most URL exploration engines, Vade Secure explores the URL at time-of-click, thus defeating time-bombed URLs.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Any remaining messages analyzed for unknown malware and phishing tactics to prevent spear phishing and zero-day attacks that would otherwise get through the filters. Our rules-based engine is based upon processing billions of emails every day so it is constantly learning and improving.
    • Identity verification: Our Identity MatchTM system considers hundreds of subtle technical and behavioral factors to determine if the sender is who they claim to be to protect against email imposters.
    • Domain verification: The sender’s domain is double-checked for authenticity
    • Content Analysis: Vade Secure performs a deep analysis of every email to look for attempts from hackers to steal personal information. The artificial intelligence engine creates a warning if there are sensitive data requests within the email, like asking for personal information or credentials.
  • Human Intelligence: Vade Secure mans a 24/7 global threat intelligence center with email security experts. They constantly monitor the information that comes in so that we can identify new and interesting threats.

Ready to protect your data and get state-of-the-art email protection? Sign up for a free 15-day evaluation! Vade Secure can be used as your primary email protection or layered onto your existing protection in order to provide extra security against spear phishing and zero-day malware attacks.