Computer Crime Research Center


Cybercrimes and Cyberterrorism threat is increasing

Date: December 25, 2007
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: Vladimir Golubev


As with many other new technologies in the past, the World Wide Web presents us with great opportunities for progress as well as potential for misuse. Here are only a few of the ones committed on the Internet: network attacks, credit card fraud, stealing money from bank accounts, corporate espionage, child pornography distribution. These crimes represent a significant social danger to Ukraine and other CIS Confederation of Independent States countries. Below I discuss three different countries and the ways in which they have managed their technology infrastructure and dealt with Internet crime.

1. The Republic of Moldova
In Moldova, the number of Internet users grows each day. Out of a total of 100,000 Internet users 20,000 are government officials.

In 2006-2007 all attempted computer attacks and infringement of information systems were successfully neutralized and did not cause any significant problems with normal operation of state information systems and web sites.

Maintaining the security of the telecommunication system, entails a number of technical measures and methods. These methods are employed by the Center of Special Telecommunications.
One of the main factors of reliable, stable and safe functioning of the state information structure is having a special, modern and protected environment. In 2005, the Center of Special Telecommunications began to develop a modern and protected telecommunication system for their government agencies. Today this system has more than 30km of information fiber-optic network systems that link more than 60 state agencies, including the Office of the President, the Parliament, the Ministries of Commerce and Economy, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Defense, the General Prosecutor’s Office, the Information and Security Service, Border and Customs Offices, the Center for Fighting Economic Crimes and Corruption and other state offices. State agencies can already exchange information through high-speed, wide-band, encrypted channels.

The central information center of the telecommunication system of state agencies was upgraded. State agencies can use special services like high-speed and protected access to the Internet, protected data exchange, and e-mail services. There is a technical support office for all information services provided in all state agencies.
One of the top-priority tasks at present is to develop protected communication systems between state offices in the capital and regional state offices. Taking into account the proliferation of computer criminals, the Center of Special Telecommunications is focused on implementing high-tech solutions in the sphere of information security, including technologies of digital signatures.

The digital signature is one of the significant means to provide high level protection of e-documents. Introduction of digital signatures in the republic increased the use of e-documents in the communications of state authorities and public offices; this creates a fair basis for implementing the electronic exchange of documents, and increases the efficiency of document flow and administrative work.

In fact, only 12% of computer crimes in Moldova become the subject of the criminal prosecution. Georgiy Suprunov, sales director of the largest telecommunications company in Moldova, said at the international seminar “Control of Internet Use” held in Chisinau that computer crime is unfavourable for companies because computer crimes decrease their business rating.

2. Republic of Kazakhstan
Representatives of Kazakhstan, at a Euro-Asian forum on information security, stated that about 500,000 hacker attacks each month are attempted on their state information networks. Hackers regularly try to break into the databases of banks and companies to try to steal large sums of money and to try to obtain confidential information. The struggle against cyber crime is hampered because the government and these companies do not want to reveal information on these attacks. In addition, most hackers attack from abroad.

The global use of modern information technologies, by governments and financial institutions all over the world, makes the solution of information security problems a top priority. Besides the direct harm from possible intrusion into systems, information gained through cyber crime may become a serious means to human oppression. For this reason Kazakhstan, adopted state programs to maintain information security, maintain state secrets and other necessary means including the highest level of cooperation with the Committee of National Security.

It is important to note the need to balance maximum openness of access to information, as mandated by the Constitution of Kazakhstan, with the needs of national security.
The sphere of information security also demands rational investment of state financial resources in building modern information system and maintenance of the system’s security.

Under the Protocol on Cooperation in the area of fighting computer crimes of CIS countries, a computer crime unit was created within the Committee of National Security. The unit’s primary tasks are to find and prevent crimes related to information resources of state authorities.

It is essential to cooperate with European and Western countries in this area. Authorized state agencies are interested in ratifying the EU Convention on Cyber Crime adopted in 2001. This will further cooperation in this area of fighting computer crime and to will enable colleagues from all over the world to share their experiences in this arena.

3. Republic of Byelorussia
As it is well-known, a favorable environment for any crimes in general, and computer crimes in particular, may be explained by the conjunction of three factors: motivation, opportunity and the absence of capable counteraction. When all three are present, , there is impunity for criminals and the opportunity for repeated illegal actions in the area of computer information. Byelorussian law enforcement first encountered cases of computer crime in 1998. Subsequently, law enforcement agencies began to fight cyber criminals using traditional legal rules. However this approach was unsuccessful, as most computer crimes grew out of traditional ones in new ways.

The New Criminal Code of the Republic of Byelorussia enacted from 2001 contains a number of articles permitting prosecution for crimes against property (article 212 of the CC) and information security (articles 349-355 of the CC), committed using computer technologies. Among newly introduced crimes are the following six: Article 349, Unauthorized access to computer information; Article 350, Modification of computer information; Article 351, Computer sabotage; Article 352, Unauthorized capture of computer information; Article 353, Production or marketing of special means designed to obtain unauthorized access to computer systems or networks; Article 354, Development, use or spread of detrimental computer programs; Article 355, Violation of computer system or network operating rules.

Taking into account the reality of the potential threat of the misuse of information technologies, the Ministry of Internal Affairs gradually realized that a complex program of counteraction to these crimes was needed; this program was created in 2001. Special units were created in the ministry specifically to fight high-tech crimes. Today cyber crime problems are solved by the high-tech crime unit at the ministry and its regional departments.

The state program for implementing information technology infrastructure of the Republic of Belarus for 2003-2005, (forecasted to 2010), "Electronic Belarus" was developed to carry out the instructions of the President of Belarus from May 27, 2002, № 09/540-20 by a group of specialists from different organizations and organizations of the republic. This endeavour is under the control of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Belarus and is mandated to remove registered negative moments and factors. The program has inter-agency collaboration and is based on the basic regulations of the state policy in the area of information technology.

According to Vladislav Kaluqa, the Chief Executive of "Beltelekom" the number of Internet users in Byelorussia is over 2 million. According to statistical information from 2003, the number of Internet users in the country was more than 1 million. Every day thousands of Byelorussians connect to global networks .

Between 1998 and 2001 most cyber crimes were related to stealing goods in e-markets using stolen credit cards, these crimes were committed by single criminals. Now, crimes are more often related to hacking with the goal of stealing information; hacker attacks on the web resources of schools, universities, ISPs, mass media, companies and citizens, in order to obtain restricted information or to disrupt an organization’s normal operation.

Almost everywhere, repeated crimes committed with the use of computers and stolen credit card information, unauthorized access to computer information, alteration of computer information, computer sabotage, and the distribution of slander on public persons and officials, occurs on the Internet. Criminals actively use technologies to gain maximum profit from illegal financial operations.

An increase in Internet use and higher levels of education contributed to a rise in cyber crime in Belarus last year. Belarusian computer criminals caused about $400,000 in damages to...

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