Thursday, January 16, 2020

Russian Police Lack Technology and Skills to Solve Most Cybercrimes, ‘Izvestiya’ Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 13 – Russian hackers may have mastered internet technology to the point that they can inflict harm on other countries as well as their own, but Russian police don’t have the expertise or state-of-the-art equipment to be able to solve cybercrimes and at present don’t solve 70 percent of them, Izvestiya reports.

            And because so many internet crimes remain unsolved, the share of them in Russia is rising rapidly. At present, one in seven crimes in Russia has an internet component, but experts say their share will rise to almost one in three over the next three years (

            According to the Procuracy General, during the first 11 months of 2019, there were registered 261,208 cybercrimes in Russia, an increase of 67.1 percent from the same period a year earlier. Of the 2019 crimes, “fewer than 60,000” or less than one in four has been solved, down from 36 percent only three years ago.

                According to Bederov, head of the Internet Search firm, ever more crimes, including murders, involve an Internet component because criminals know that this is one of the weak points in the crime-fighting capacity of the police and that using it will allow them in many cases to avoid prosecution. The police currently lack the computer power to fight back.

            Another expert, Vladimir Kashirov of the Coordinating Council for Non-Governmental Security, points out that “the darknet today has become a kind of supermarket for everything that is prohibited. There one can buy guns, drugs, and the personal data of any user. Of course, there is a need to fight this.” But the police don’t have the skills or equipment to do so.

            Bederov says that no one in Russia has yet even posed the question about the need to centralize the collection and analysis of electronic data in criminal cases. Were such a center created, far more crimes could be solved.

            One reason there is little pressure to create such a center, experts say, is that the average loss from an internet crime is less than 5,000 rubles (80 US dollars). As a result, only about 20 percent of victims even both to report their losses, something that drives down the statistics on this form of crime and means that the crimes themselves get less attention.

            Interior ministry officials counter that they are making progress, but any gains they may have made are still being overwhelmed by the growth of this kind of criminal activity.

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