Cyber crime and security: A Russian perspective – Counting the Cost (feature)
If you’re a Russian cybersecurity firm these days, you’re not going to be very popular in some circles in the US. In fact, just this month, top US intelligence chiefs have publicly expressed doubts about the global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Labs because of its roots in Russia.
The statements come hot on the heels of last week’s “WannaCry” virus attack which left critical organisations in over 150 countries – including Russia – reeling from the effects of the malicious “ransomware”. Targetting Microsoft Windows operating systems, the software blocked access to computer systems and demanded that victims pay money via the crypto currency bitcoin in return for full use of their own computers once again.
The attack left many wondering how vulnerable our systems are to similar attacks and whether this would lead to a rise in the importance of cyber insurance and security.
CEO Eugene Kaspersky denies all US claims about the safety of their products, claiming this would be suicide for his business, and discusses how cybercriminals are diversifying their business and learning from state-sponsored espionage.
“The trends that we are seeing now, and I’m sure its going to be the same in the future, is that cyber crime is getting a lot more professional,” says Kaspersky. “They are able to attack very well-protected victims.”
On whether he has any idea where most of the source of these attacks are focussed, Kaspersky says that medium-level threats are carried out by hackers that speak a multitude of languages, therefore it is hard to pinpoint a base. However, as the attacks increase in sophistication, a trend emerges.
“When we come to the professional criminal gangs, they are mostly Russian speaking. They don’t only develop and use the tools, they also trade the technology. So, we can see the traces of the Russian-made technologies in the hands of criminals from other nations as well,” he says.
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