Computer Crime Research Center


Fighting cybercrime in CIS: strategy and tactics

Date: June 29, 2005
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: Vladimir Golubev

The baffling complexity of problems related to computer crime necessitates international cooperation and first of all cooperation of countries-members of Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

Presently, efforts to fight computer crimes are undertaken at both national and international levels. This fact is proved by a number of international acts: Cybercrime Convention adopted on 27th April 2000 by the Council of Europe, Measures to combat computer-related crime adopted at the 11th UN Crime Congress with Adoption of Bangkok Declaration Calling for Action against Organized Crime, Terrorism, Okinawa Charter on Global Information Society adopted at the G8 Summit held on 21-23 July 2000. In the scales of CIS countries a Model Criminal Code was adopted on 17th February 1996 at the 7th plenary session of inter-Parliamentary Assembly. This Model Criminal Code envisages penal liability for computer crimes. On June 1, 2001 an agreement on cooperation of CIS countries to combat crimes in the sphere of computer information was signed in Minks, Belarus. The issue of computer crimes needed to take urgent adequate legal measures by the lawmakers of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan to counteract to computer crimes. These measures included drafting new and unification of existing laws, enhancing older laws, adopting new legal acts and norms.

The Russian Federation

The ever-increasing number of computer crimes is outrunning the trend of computerization in Russia. According to the According to the Information center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, 13723 computer crimes were committed in Russia last year. It makes a twofold increase over the previous number of 7052 cyber crimes in 2003.

According to the report of Boris Miroshnikov, head of Bureau on special technical operations at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, at the “Information Security of a region, organization, and people” conference held in June 2005 in Moscow, law enforcement officers file in average 170-180 high tech criminal cases weekly.

Officers of the Bureau prevented and brought materials on 2189 crimes in the sphere of high technologies to the court. More than a half of those, 1120 cases, were related to access without right in wired and wireless networks. The other half of cases were generally related to violation of copyright and adjacent rights, illegal turnover of radio electronic devices.

Legal criminal base
The Russian Federation was the first CIS country to change its criminal laws and introduced norms foreseeing penal liability for computer crimes.

“Crimes in the sphere of computer information” is the Chapter 28 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation adopted June 13, 1996 and inured on January 1, 1997.
The Chapter includes the following articles: unauthorized access to computer information, Creation, use and distribution of malicious computer programs, Violation of operating rules of a computer, system or network.

Units fighting cybercrime
In order to maintain radio electronic security of police units, to combat unpremeditated radio interference, to reveal and neutralize special technical devices designed (developed, adapted, programmed) to secretly obtain information, prevent attempts to penetrate in computer networks and other illegal actions a new unit was created at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR in 1986. It was named Department R (radio electronic fight).

In 1997, with the introduction of the new Criminal Code of the Russian Federation and penal responsibility for crimes in the sphere of computer information (Chapter 28), and also other computer crimes, Department R became a secret search unit. On October 7, 1998 Department R was reformed into Department on fighting high tech crimes. Regional departments were created till 1999. In 2002 the department was abolished, its stuff, structure and equipment were passed to the Department of special technical measures at the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Nowadays these units are called Departments K (on fighting computer crimes) at the Department of special technical measures.

The main burden of investigation computer crimes lies on specialized units of the Investigative committee at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. These units are created at levels of general and regional police departments. Police investigative officers tightly cooperate with these units.


The growth of computer crimes in Ukraine keeps pace with Russian. According to the Ukraine’s Interior Ministry 197 of high tech crimes were registered in 2004, making an almost two-fold increase as compared to the previous 2003. Though most experts say such statistics does not reflect the whole image of cybercrime in Ukraine.

As is well-known, the latency of computer crimes is a sign that manifests the situation in the state, where certain part of crime remains beyond registers. In every state real criminality is higher than registered number of crimes. In this relation, the experience testifies that statistical information not always reflects the real state of affairs. Latent crimes remain undisclosed, a so-called “dark number” of crimes.

The growth of cybercrime in the first half of 2005 also shows that it is a serious problem for law enforcement. Early in 2005, Interior Ministry of Ukraine tracked down a porn ring. Criminals produced and distributed child porn on the Internet. According to modest estimates, revenues of porn dealers could reach 500,000 USD.

Child porn studios were located in Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Luhansk and Lviv. Police Department on minors affairs at the Interior Ministry of Ukraine have filed 87 criminal cases in violation of the Article 301 “Import, production, sales and distribution of materials containing porn” since early 2005.
Distribution of computer viruses, credit card frauds, theft of money from bank accounts, computer information theft and violation of operating rules of computer systems can be outlined as the most dangerous and distributed computer crimes in Ukraine.
According to the Ukrainian Antivirus Center, damage incurred by virus attacks in the first half of 2004 equaled to 290 million UAH ($45 million). As compared to the same period of 2003, losses increased by 30%.

Legal criminal base
Criminal Code of Ukraine reflects the response of home lawmaker to social negative phenomena related to impetuous development of science. Section 16 includes three Articles: 361 “Illegal interference with operation of computers, systems and networks”, that is an illegal interference with operation of automated computers, systems or networks resulted in distortion or erasing of computer information or destroying its carriers, and also to spreading of computer viruses by using software and hardware designed for illegal penetration into these machines, systems or networks and capable of distortion or erasing computer information or destroying its carriers”; the Article 362 “Theft, misappropriation, extortion of computer information or its capture by swindling or abusing official position” and the Article 363 “Violation of automated electronic computer operating rules”: violation of operating rules of automated computers, systems or networks on the part of a person responsible for their operation, if it has entailed theft, distortion or erasing of computer information, security means, or illegal copying of computer information, or essential infringement of such facilities, systems or networks operation.

Units fighting cybercrime
Units on fighting high tech crimes were created and are now functioning at the Interior Ministry of Ukraine in 2002. Training of officers fighting computer crimes is a key element of training police. A department of secret search in the sphere of information technologies was established at Donetsk Law Institute of the Interior Ministry of Ukraine 4 years ago. First cyber policemen graduated the department this year. Officers were trained at the department #1 “Criminal police” and mastered new specialty - secret search in the sphere of information technologies.

The Republic of Belarus

According to the official data of the Interior Ministry of Republic of Belarus, trends of computer crimes in Belarus are demonstrative. High tech crimes in 2002 showed a 80,5% growth as compared to 2002. 924 and 512 of such crimes were registered correspondingly in years 2002 and 2001.

Experience of counteraction to computer crime in Belarus has put a number of grave questions related to investigation of computer crimes and cooperation of law enforcement of different countries.

High tech crimes unit at the Interior Ministry of Republic of Belarus together with National High Tech Crimes Unit of Great Britain held a joint operation “Fire wall” in 2004. The operation resulted in revealing and arresting of international criminal group members. The criminals produced, sold and used forged credit cards.

The Interior Ministry of Republic of Belarus emphasizes the significance of combating computer crimes. There was a collegium at the Ministry dedicated to these issues held in 2004. Counteraction to cybercrime was put among primary tasks. A program of actions foreseeing cooperation of all services was adopted.

In a joint action with the Russian Feredation, a professional training for information protection was organized on the basis of Voronezh Institute of Police.

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2007-02-26 02:48:54 - The information I found here was rather... uomo
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