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  2. Threat Intelligence Report: Financial cybercrime in Russia

Threat Intelligence Report: Financial cybercrime in Russia

Abstract

Russia’s position towards cybercrime is ambiguous and complex. While the Russian government seems to engage against cybercrime and shows a strong will to regulate cryptocurrencies (that are also used by cybercriminals to get rid of existing banking regulations), it may also have links with hacker groups in order to pursue its own objectives in the cyberspace.

In Russia, financial cybercrime has expanded over the recent years. However, it is hard to know the exact number of groups operating in Russia because they dissociate and re-from easily. In order to lead malicious operations, online platforms are used by the cybercriminal community in Russia to communicate, promote or even sell “services” and “products”.

Cybercriminal groups in Russia are based on “volunteering”. Depending on the type and extent of the criminal group, heads of groups either hire “staff” to pay them a fixed salary, or punctually work with them on a freelance basis for some specific tasks. “Money mules” are indispensable in these groups: they are hired to transfer stolen money to the hacker accounts. Criminal groups can be classified in 3 categories, among which large groups are the most dangerous and destructive. Cybercriminal groups mostly use cryptocurrencies to lead their illegal activities.