The Brazilian Cavalcante Cybercrime Gang – A Cybercriminal Group Attacking The Financial Infrastructure Of Brazil & Latin America
Cavalcante Gang: In the ever-evolving landscape of cybercrime, criminal organizations continually adapt, growing more sophisticated and elusive. The Cavalcante cybercrime gang, based in Brazil, is a noteworthy example of a criminal organization that has successfully navigated the digital realm to commit a wide range of cybercrimes. This article explores the origins, history, organization, operational methods, and criminal activities of the Cavalcante cybercrime gang.
What is the Cavalcante Cybercrime Organization
The Cavalcante Gang was a Brazilian criminal organization that was involved in a massive online fraud scheme that targeted Brazilian banks. The gang stole over R$100 million (USD $20,000,000.00) from Brazilian banks before being arrested in 2022.
In one phishing scam, the gang would send emails to Brazilian citizens that appeared to be from a legitimate Brazilian bank. The emails would contain a link to a fake website that looked like the real bank’s website. When the victim clicked on the link and entered their personal information, the gang would steal their login credentials.
In another scam, the gang would steal people’s identities and then use those identities to open bank accounts and credit card accounts. The gang would then use these accounts to defraud banks and retailers.
Members of the Cavalcante Gang were finally arrested in 2022 after a long-term investigation by Brazilian and American law enforcement agencies.
The Cavalcante Gang is one of many criminal organizations that are involved in online fraud in Brazil. Online fraud is a major problem in Brazil, and it costs the Brazilian economy billions of dollars each year. The Brazilian government is working to combat online fraud, but it is a difficult challenge.
The Cavalcante cybercrime gang is named after its elusive leader, Jorge Cavalcante, who has successfully evaded law enforcement for years.
The group’s origins can be traced back to the early 2000s when it primarily engaged in low-level cybercrimes such as phishing and credit card fraud. Over time, the organization expanded its operations, delving into more sophisticated forms of cybercrime.
Cavalcante Cybercrime Gang Locations
The Cavalcante Gang was located in Brazil, specifically in the city of São Paulo. However, the gang’s members were spread out all over Brazil and in other countries, such as the United States.
How Cavalcante Cybercrime Gang Organized
The Cavalcante Gang was organized in a hierarchical structure, with Jorge Cavalcante at the top.
Cavalcante was responsible for overseeing the gang’s operations and making all major decisions.
Below Cavalcante were a number of lieutenants, who were responsible for managing specific aspects of the gang’s operations, such as phishing scams, identity theft, and money laundering. The lieutenants reported directly to Cavalcante, and they were responsible for recruiting and managing lower-level gang members.
Lower-level gang members are responsible for carrying out the day-to-day tasks of the gang, such as sending phishing emails, stealing identities, and laundering money.
The Cavalcante Gang was a very organized and disciplined criminal organization. The gang had a clear hierarchy, and all members of the gang were expected to follow Cavalcante’s orders.
The gang also had a number of security measures in place to protect its members from law enforcement. For example, the gang used encrypted communication channels and frequently changed its operating procedures.
The Cavalcante Cybercrime Gang is a Threat to Public Safety Worldwide
The Cavalcante Gang used a variety of methods to defraud Brazilian banks, including phishing scams, identity theft, and investment fraud. The gang would often target vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly or low-income individuals.
The Cavalcante Cybercrime Gang is a highly organized and sophisticated criminal group that is involved in a wide range of crimes, including:
- Cybercrime: The Cavalcante Cybercrime Gang is best known for its sophisticated and targeted cyberattacks against financial institutions, primarily banks. The group typically uses a combination of phishing and malware to gain access to bank systems. Once the group has access to a bank’s system, they will then steal money by transferring it to their own accounts or by using fraudulent ATM withdrawals.
- Phishing Attacks: The gang has perfected the art of crafting convincing phishing emails and websites to trick individuals and organizations into revealing sensitive information such as login credentials and credit card details.
- Ransomware: They have developed and deployed their ransomware strains, holding victims’ data hostage until a ransom is paid.
- Cryptocurrency Exploitation: The gang takes advantage of cryptocurrency’s supposed anonymity to facilitate their operations, including ransom payments.
- Bank fraud: The Cavalcante Cybercrime Gang has been responsible for stealing millions of dollars from banks around the world. In 2017, the group was responsible for a series of attacks against banks in Russia and Europe that resulted in the theft of over $100 million. In 2018, the group was responsible for an attack against a bank in the United States that resulted in the theft of over $20 million.
- Wire fraud: The Cavalcante Cybercrime Gang is also involved in wire fraud scams. In these scams, the group will trick people into sending them money by wire transfer. The group often uses phishing emails to target their victims.
- Identity theft: The Cavalcante Cybercrime Gang is also involved in identity theft scams. In these scams, the group will steal people’s personal information, such as their Social Security numbers and bank account numbers. The group may then use this information to commit fraud or to sell it to other criminals.
- Money laundering: The Cavalcante Cybercrime Gang is also involved in money laundering. Money laundering is the process of making illegally gained proceeds (i.e. “dirty money”) appear legal (i.e. “clean”). The group often uses money laundering schemes to conceal the proceeds of their crimes.
Challenges and Law Enforcement Response
The Cavalcante gang presents a formidable challenge to law enforcement agencies in Brazil and around the world. Their ability to adapt, diversify their cybercrimes, and consistently evade capture has made them a persistent threat. While Brazilian authorities have taken steps to combat cybercrime, the transnational nature of the Cavalcante gang’s operations makes it difficult to bring them to justice.
In recent years, international cooperation and information sharing among law enforcement agencies have improved, leading to some successes in disrupting the gang’s operations. However, the Cavalcante gang remains an active and dangerous criminal organization.
Brazilian & U.S. Law Enforcement Operation
A Brazilian police operation launched in 2022 to combat cybercrime, has targeted a wide range of gangs and criminal organizations. Some of the principal targets of the operation include:
- Gangs involved in online fraud: These gangs use a variety of methods to defraud Brazilians, such as phishing scams, identity theft, and investment fraud.
- Gangs involved in hacking: These gangs hack into computer systems and steal personal data, financial information, and other valuable data.
- Gangs involved in child pornography: These gangs produce, distribute, and possess child pornography.
The following are some specific examples of gangs that have been targeted by Operation Magalhaes:
- The Cavalcante Gang: This gang was involved in a massive online fraud scheme that targeted Brazilian banks. The gang stole over R$100 million from Brazilian banks before being arrested in 2022.
- The BlackHat Gang: This gang was involved in a series of high-profile hacks of Brazilian government and corporate websites. The gang was arrested in 2023.
- The Child Porn Gang: This gang was involved in the production and distribution of child pornography. The gang was arrested in 2022 after a long-term investigation by Brazilian police.
These are ongoing operations, and new targets are being identified all the time. The operation has been successful in disrupting the activities of cybercrime gangs and protecting Brazilians from online threats.
See below for more on Operation Magalhaes
The Cavalcante Gang is also a reminder of the dangers of online fraud. These gangs are constantly developing new and innovative ways to defraud people. It is important to be aware of the latest online scams and to take steps to protect yourself from fraud.
The Cavalcante Gang is a good example of how cybercrime gangs are becoming increasingly sophisticated and organized. These gangs are no longer just made up of a few individuals working together. Instead, they are now well-organized and disciplined criminal organizations with a clear hierarchy and a variety of security measures in place.