Cybercriminals have placed Brazil as the number one nation in a online banking trojan ranking as attempts to steal cash online saw a massive increase during the World Cup.
New research by Kaspersky Lab covering the period from November 2013 to October 2014 lists Brazil as the country with the largest number of users attacked by banking malware, followed by Russia and Germany.
Some 299,830 users fell victim to banking malware in Brazil during the period. Second on the list is Russia with 251,917 attacked users and Germany, with 155,773 malware attacks in 2014.
The number of attacks grew considerably in the middle of 2014, surpassing 300,000 occurrences in May and reaching 350,000 in June. The average reported by Kaspersky Lab remained mostly below 250,000 attacks per month.
Reasons for the spike in malware attacks, according to the study, include online banking activity at the beginning of the holiday season as well as by the World Cup in Brazil - when cybercriminals used financial malware to steal tourists' payment data.
ZeuS remained the most widespread banking trojan in the world, while the Brazilian malware ChePro and Lohmys came second and third on the list.
Brazil has a thriving scene of cybercrime online "schools"offering training programs, according to a separate study on the country's digital underworld. One of the most sought-after types of "training" is how to perpetrate bank fraud, where cybercriminal wannabes learn the fraud workflow, then move on to how to use the tools needed to capture data.