Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Black Hat: Fighting Russian Cyber Crime Mobsters

Adam Ely writes on InformationWeek:

McAfee and the FBI teamed up at Black Hat to discuss Russian online organized crime. The standing room only presentation was part fact and part hype. With a mission to publicize the FBI’s work, Russians were made to be some of the most organized and threatening of all cybercriminals. While this could be true, the connections to American and other hackers around the world were drawn and cannot be ignored.

Composed of money laundering, botnets, hacking, and other activities, organized crime racks up $256 Million USD a year in losses for US organizations alone. This figure is based on losses reported to the FBI’s Internet Crime Compliant Center (IC3) in 2008.

Tracking down Russian online cybercriminals is a difficult task and one where the FBI often fails. With crimes occurring in the US linked to Eastern Europe, such as the TJX breach, global cybercrime is hitting home. It is important for US law enforcement to be aware of and attempt to shut down these global rings.

Punishment for cybercriminals in Russia is so disproportionate with the rewards for committing such crimes that the criminals are not deterred and will continue to perform the crimes once released. One such criminal, whose testimony was presented during the Black Hat talk, received only 6 months in jail and commented that he will commit the same crimes once he is released.

More here.


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