Computer Crime Problems Research Center

It is necessary to think of computer criminality
counteraction today – tomorrow will be late

Vladimir A. Golubev
Computer Crime Research Center's web site is known by many people who are not indifferent to crime fighting. The Internet - project, is devoted to research computer crimes. There are links to the best resources, electronic library, the latest news and the major events, publications and summaries of new books on computer crime and cyber-terrorism on the site.

Our conversation with director of Computer Crime Research Center Vladimir Golubev is devoted to this question.

Mr. Golubev, tell about Centre's history and main directions of the functioning.

Foundation of the Center is directly connected with my scientific and professional work. In the beginning of 1999 in National Law Academy of Ukraine, I managed to defend a master's thesis "Legal aspects of bank computer-based systems protection" and so I became one of founders a new speciality - National Information Security.

Certainly, the first was hard research work on Criminal-Search Department at Zaporozhye Law Institute at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine.

In June 2001 Center created web-site Crime-research. Process of becoming as non-commercial, volunteer organization passed uneasy, without sponsors and financial support. Web-site development, domain registration, hosting, etc., became possible due to the grant, which I have received for joint American - Ukrainian scientific researches on a subject «Development of ways and methods of transnational crimes prevention for law-enforcement bodies in Ukraine". Now, Center is independent organization.

Last year we achieved the main - we formed the team - enthusiasts, scientists, professionals and experts in the field of cybercrime prevention and investigation.

I think, not a secret, that there are people living in territory of the former Soviet Union which organized and perpetrated many heinous cybercrimes. For example, a famous case on hacking City-bank when the "domestic" hacker, having penetrated in bank system, has got access to several tens billions dollars, and whose actions nearly have not led to huge global financial crisis.

In this connection, whether your Center gets any national or international support?

I think, it is incorrectly to demand or count on any support of government, and it has no special sense. Ukrainian government has many serious economic problems today, and a problem of computer crime, in opinion of many statesmen, is not crucial for Ukraine. You have mentioned a famous case on theft about $ 12,5 million from City-bank (USA) by the St.-Petersburg hacker. But in fact, the Vinnitsa resonant crime does not concede, and even surpasses on the impudence and the sum of the stolen money. Then, 80 million 400 thousand Ukrainian Hrivnas (at that time it was about $ 20 million) have been stolen from Vinnitsa National Bank.

Does Computer Crime Research Center, somehow cooperate with domestic special services, for example, Security Serves of Ukraine or Ministry of Internal Affairs? In fact the information accumulate the Center, could render essential assistance in investigation of certain cyber-crimes?

Our cooperation consists in scientific contacts with Security Service of Ukraine and Law Enforcement Bodies. Centre conducts scientific conferences, seminars and training that have found the reflection as information on our web-site. Criminal search services are engaged in investigation of concrete computer crimes and we try to help them.

Our task is to give a scientific and methodological basis, to promote vocational training of law enforcement in cyber-crimes fighting. As the scientist, I think, that the science should go in one step ahead of practice.

And what is interests in cooperation with the foreign organizations which, as well as your Center, have a purpose of crime fighting?

As to cooperation with the foreign organizations, researches are carried out within the framework of the joint US-Ukrainian scientific-research program of the Computer Crime Research Center and the Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC) at the American University, Washington, DC, USA.. We proved joint conferences, round tables and trainings, and information exchange with other scientific-research institutes. Results of this cooperation are published on our web-site in detail.

Your job is directed on “white collar” crimes fighting, and it is rather risky. Have you or CCRC employees any threats in this connection?

We face with such threats almost daily, but it is original. It comes in dispatch viruses of different kinds, attempt upon a site with use of various removed attacks, scanning of ports, etc.

2002 became critical in a situation with the piracy software in Ukraine. Whether your Center plans to participate in the antipiracy campaign and how?

Certainly, yes. We have begun such work long before enactment of "New" Criminal Code of Ukraine and article 176 «Copyright Infringement». Today we notice the dangerous tendency connected to a problem of intellectual property protection, when under plausible excuse ("piracy" fighting) computer clubs and Internet-cafe are closed by Law Enforcement. I think, development of recommendations on software legalization. If it will be necessary, we are ready to organize trainings and educational seminars on questions of Copyrights infringement. We also shall pay further due attention to a problem of struggle against a piracy, but here it is important «not commit follies». It is necessary, this job has not turned in next "campaign" under plausible excuse of computer piracy fighting. It is the worst, when they start to speak with Ukraine in language of economic sanctions, without any understanding of real economic opportunities (average monthly wage of the ordinary citizen of Ukraine is about $ 70 and license Microsoft Office costs $ 350, or operational system Windows XP - $ 150). As a result, such hasty and unreasoned actions could lead to isolation and blocking of Ukraine joining to united information space".

For the known reasons, in the last time one of the most widespread words in mass media is a word "terrorism". I have seen word "cyber-terrorism" on pages of your site. Could you tell in more detail about it, including ways and methods of "cyber-terrorism" fighting?

The computer terrorism (cyber-terrorism) is understood as deliberate, politically motivated attack to the information, computer-based systems, computer programs or the data. It threats to people and their property. As for methods, in short, those are ways and methods, which are used in computer crimes fighting^; they are subdivided on legal, organizational and program-technical.

What do you think about passing of "new" Ukraine Criminal Code, and signing of the Convention on cyber-crime fighting? Will it change situation in Ukraine for the better?

Certainly, yes. But it is necessary to understand that legal base included in listed documents is not a panacea. It is important to have the mechanism of realization of these documents, which is not produced for today, unfortunately. At last, it is very important to define, who will realize these positions. There is a hope, that the new division created in Ukraine at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine - the Department on cybercrime fighting - will cope with this important for our state problem.

Could you tell what the Center's plans are for the future?

In 2003 we are going to draw more attention to questions of computer piracy fighting and problems of software legalization. We put the task to complex solve given problem and render legal aid to subjects of such activity in Ukraine. We come to end with preparation of the 3-rd International conference "Information technologies and Security - 2003" which will take place on June 23-27, 2003 in Crimea, Ukraine. We invite for participation researchers and experts in the field of information technologies, Law, sociology, conflictology, psychology, business, the finance and telecommunications. So, in short, these are basic plans for the nearest time.

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