Computer Crime Research Center


Cyber-crimes - Analytical data compiled

Date: January 03, 2008
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: Vladimir Golubev

... as a member of Interpol council a recognition of importance of fight with cybercrime?

I will note that representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation is elected to the council of this international organization for the first time. This mandate lasts three years. There were several candidates, though I was elected. I will advance propositions of Russian law enforcement in all directions of fighting cybercrime. Therefore this will also address high-tech sphere, there is a special group on cybercrime.

1.3. Anton Pakhomov, public prosecutor from Saratov region, became one of the most interesting contributor at the international forum in London. His report devoted to the first joint Russian-British investigation of the computer blackmail was more than successful.

The case became famous. In October, last year, three young men were sentenced for the creation of malware and blackmail in Balakovo, Saratov region, Russian Federation. A court in the Saratov region, 530 miles southeast of Moscow, has sentenced three Russian hackers accused of extorting $4 million from world Internet companies to eight years in prison each, as well as a $3,700 fine.
"Three Russian nationals - Balakovo resident Ivan Maksakov, Astrakhan resident Alexander Petrov and St. Petersburg resident Denis Stepanov - are charged with committing a number of computer crimes via the Internet, and of extorting money from several U.K. companies," public prosecutor Anton Pakhomov said.

Each of the three faced charges on 19 articles of the Russian Criminal Code, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Pakhomov said the hackers collected information about British web casinos and bookmakers' offices using spy software designed by 20-year-old Maksakov, and then demanded ransoms from the owners, threatening to disrupt their web servers if they did not comply.

"The web server of Canbet Sports Bookmakers Ltd, which refused to pay a $10,000 ransom demand, was blocked during the Breeders' Cup races, and the company lost more than $200,000 for each day of downtime," he said. Investigators said the criminal group received more than $4 million from U.K. companies. The prosecutor said the group made 54 similar attacks in 30 countries for the six months they were active. Maksakov and Stepanov were detained in September 2004 through the joint efforts of Britain's National High Tech Crime Unit, Interpol, the FBI and Russia's Interior Ministry and the Prosecutor General's Office. Petrov was arrested in mid-2005.

2. Republic of Belarus

According to Igor Chernenko, the chief of the hi-tech crimes department of Belarusian Ministry of Internal Affairs (Department K), the number of crimes in the sphere is constantly growing: 180 criminal cases in 2006 as compared to 28 in 2005.

In 2006, 272 "information security", 12 "unauthorized access", 45 "modification of computer information", and 19 computer virus programmes developing cases were brought to court.
1300 of cybercriminals, hackers, carders and Internet scammers were filed according to Igor Chernenko. He said 97% of high tech crimes were committed by grown up people, more than one third was committed by women.

"The criminal business should be given the status of a publicly dangerous act entailing criminal responsibility," he said. "As a rule the spread of pornography is not an aim in itself. It is a very profitable business which in its turn is used to fund organized crime," he said.

"The huge sums generated by child porno are spent on bribing officials, on corruption. That`s why all criminal groups want to control child porno," Chernenko said.

However, under acting legislation "we cannot bring anyone to criminal responsibility for these operations," he said. "There is an article in the Criminal Code implying punishment for spreading pornography. But it can be applied only to a person who has been brought to civil responsibility for a similar offense during a year," he said. "Nobody is a fool to run the risk after getting a warning," he said.

"Besides, the article says nothing of spreading pornography in the Internet, neither does it single out child porno," Chernenko said.

"This is one of the reasons why criminals from Belarus spreading child porno are arrested only abroad, even though with our assistance," he said.

Chernenko said Russia introduced criminal responsibility for child porno last year. "We have been making such suggestions many times. So far there has been no reply," he said.

3. Ukraine

Recently, law enforcement of Dnipropetrovs’k, Ukraine detained a hacker who broke into electronic payment system. The hacker turned to be 17 years old resident of Kiev, Ukraine. It took 5 days to find and arrest the criminal.

Security service of, payment system co-owned by Privatbank rendered significant assistance in revealing this case. This case is now under investigation. According to the officers of Dnipropetrovs’k regional unit fighting economic crimes, malefactor faked digital signatures from API-interfaces of different payment systems.

As stated in the informational release of, illegal actions of the arrested hacker caused damage of more than 50 thousand USD. The criminal was arrested while getting cash at the Webmoney dealer’s office. The other information is not disclosed in the interests of investigation.

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2008-01-04 17:14:14 - My name is Fima Estrin and I live in... Fima Fimovich
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