Brazil was reportedly the main target of denial-of-service (DoS) cyber attacks in Latin America last year, with the country suffering an average 21 attacks every month throughout 2016.
Cyber attacks increased 44% during the year compared with the previous year, according to a study by Arbor Networks, which examines global network security once a year.
Cyber criminals caused disruptions in Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Colombia as well, says the Arbor study.
The quantity of devices infected by the virus also increased in volume, hurting companies that provide Internet of Things (IoT) services.
The biggest victims of these attacks were data centers, IT service providers, government organizations, and private companies in the education sector.
DoS is a kind of cyber-attack where the perpetrators seek to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users by temporarily or indefinitely disrupting services of a host connected to the internet.
According to Arbor Networks, 71% of companies surveyed reported an increase in operating expenses following the attack, with about 42% reporting losses in income and 33% reporting loss of customers.
Many victims of the attack lost an average US$100,000, according to analysts. Arbor Networks’ study was based on responses from 356 companies in the information technology industry, including service providers, hosting companies, mobile and network operators, and others.
Brazil has long been a victim of cyber criminals. Many government websites went offline last year when the Olympic Games were underway. In 2005, criminals even caused power outages in several parts of the country by taking control of networks connected to electric grids.