Cyber criminals prey on Russians

Critically important information about every person living in Russia is becoming increasingly accessible to cyber criminals.

A growing amount of personal data that can be enough to precisely establish a person’s real identity are being collected in a digital format by government authorities and must stay safe and secure there. However, according to a new research by Positive Technologies, it is the public authorities that are helpless in the face of cybercrime.

Most public agencies employ very basic protection methods (e.g. antivirus software) that cannot stop attacks. Almost half of survey participants representing government agencies confirmed that their organizations are not capable of countering targeted hacking. And criminals are taking advantage of it all the time. Almost 70% of all the attacks orchestrated by 22 Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) in the past two years have been directed at government entities.

“The information systems of public organizations store and process critically important data; therefore, government agencies are under a constant threat of cyberattacks,”explains Positive Technologies analyst Yana Avezova.

The danger of such data leaks is hard to overrate. In the past years, it has become increasingly more common to use social engineering methods that require access to personal data and often result in theft from bank accounts.

Overall, one in every two countries in Russia has to withstand targeted cyberattacks. The majority of such attacks are unsuccessful for online scammers. The latter are using increasingly more sophisticated methods for hacking and their potential victims are still not rushing to build a multi-level protection from attacks.

According to Alexei Novikov, Director of the Positive Technologies Expert Security Center, today cybercriminals already know how to code and decipher malicious code and even forge electronic signatures. Therefore, if a company becomes a target for APTs, the security perimeter will give up sooner or later.

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