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Shaming Russia Into Action On Cyber Crime 140

Posted by Soulskill
from the stand-in-the-corner-until-you're-sorry dept.
krebsatwpost writes "The Washington Post ran a piece earlier this week that confronts the myth that cyber criminal gangs in Russia and Eastern Europe avoid attacking their own, pointing to numerous examples of late that counter this common misconception. The story draws on data from Team Cyrmu about distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS) that target Russian and E. European organizations, intel from McAfee about Russian banks and federal agencies that appear to be under control over cyber gangs there, and tens of gigabytes of data stolen via keyloggers that disproportionately impact Russian systems, including that of a top Gazprom official. The piece begins: 'If you ask security experts why more cyber criminals aren't brought to justice, the answer you will probably hear is that US authorities simply aren't getting the cooperation they need from law enforcement officials in Russia and other Eastern European nations, where some of the world's most active cyber criminal gangs are thought to operate with impunity. But I wonder whether authorities in those countries would be any more willing to pursue cyber crooks in their own countries if they were forced to confront just how deeply those groups have penetrated key government and private computer networks in those regions?'"
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Shaming Russia Into Action On Cyber Crime

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  • But I wonder whether authorities in those countries would be any more willing to pursue cyber crooks in their own countries if they were forced to confront just how deeply those groups have penetrated key government and private computer networks in those regions?

    There are a few problems that really will go away if you ignore them. This doesn't sound like one of those.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jurily (900488)

      There are a few problems that really will go away if you ignore them. This doesn't sound like one of those.

      Given the law enforcement culture of the Russians, I don't see how it would matter either way.

    • by RCL (891376)
      It'd be unfair to say that our (Russian) government ignores that problem. But little can it do to stop a major and profitable business of software/video/etc piracy and cyber crime with its numerous, but underpaid and corrupted police forces.
      • So in general, a better economy in Russia should tend to see these things die out?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by RCL (891376)
          In general, yes. Better economical situation makes law system stronger. Poor economical conditions are likely to result in mafia and other informal structures with their own (usually more complicated and brutal) laws.

          That's not something specific to Russia.
          • by AndyElf (23331)

            Indeed, and let's not forget that a significant amount of cyber crime originates neither in Russia or EE, but China, India and (shudder) US.

            Let us also not put into the same bucket media piracy and true "cyber crime" of breaking & entering type (and TFA, thankfully does not fall for this).

  • by paganizer (566360) <thegrove1@NoSpAm.hotmail.com> on Saturday March 07, 2009 @02:09AM (#27102589) Homepage Journal

    I really hate to say this. Because I'm a big hater of big government, I support Freenet 0.5, anonymity and privacy.
    But things are a little TOO free in Belarus and some of the other Ex-soviet states when it comes to Child Pornography; when you have plain old unsecured websites with for-pay preteen sex shows that have been operating for years without problems, something is WRONG.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by AHuxley (892839)
      Because someone in Russia can get the real IP's and real names for say a Texas lawyer, UK law professor or fortune 500 insider?
      Over a few years a Russia can drop the addicted westerner a visit and remind them of their weekend web use.
      For a few easy, small tasks, it can all be contained.
      The East German's did this with West German's who had interesting pasts in WW2.
      • by Slumdog (1460213)

        Over a few years a Russia can drop the addicted westerner a visit...

        hmm...how many Russia's are active in this business right now, you reckon?

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by AHuxley (892839)
          Russian side is an unknown, shared files, shared sites, no profit, for profit, same site, resold under 10 different names?
          The real number is western credit card use.
          Real people buying their way in, thinking the credit card companies would just pass details on as another transaction and the East bloc providers would keep details safe on a HD, connected to username, pw.
          So you have 10000 card names in need of pics and vids via 1 site?
          All the FSB can do is sort, who is a Dr, grad student who might run a de
    • by celle (906675)

      "when you have plain old unsecured websites with for-pay preteen sex shows that have been operating for years without problems, something is WRONG."

      And when we aim ads at children selling shit that is often bad for them, are we any better? Face it, we all use kids for money.
      There are also lots of other examples in the west that are accepted and encouraged, much of it is wrong but it's fine as long as money is being made. Hypocrisy seems to be doing just fine in here in America.

      • by paganizer (566360)

        Hang on a sec. I want to get this straight.
        I get the sense that what you are saying is that having a advertisement on TV pushing sugar frosted flakes is equally bad for children as Russian paysites featuring 10 year olds getting screwed?
        I think may, just maybe, you have a little problem with judgment.

  • " But I wonder whether authorities in those countries would be any more willing to pursue cyber crooks in their own countries if they
    were forced to confront just how deeply those groups have penetrated key government and private computer networks in those regions?'""

    In the eyes of the Russia gov they are just learning? Russia was invaded and messed with so many times, why not bone up on the 'internet'?
    One day Russia will need the skills the brave apartment dwelling computer experts have learned and s
    • by RCL (891376)
      There might be some points in what you say, but I think that your conspiracy theory is way too advanced. Just imagine a secret service chief that relies on basement-dwelling hackers to "bring down supercomputers" of a hostile entity. Or just imagine that you're a secret service officer and you are repeating your above post to your chief.

      The real problem with cybercrime is Russia is that government cannot control its own population, has no efficient mechanisms to uphold the law and Russia's own IT industry
      • by AHuxley (892839)
        After decades of trying to use death squads, assassins, protesters, political parties, journalists ect.. "basement-dwelling hackers" would seem a step up.
        As for ""bring down supercomputers" of a hostile entity", you dont need your "basement-dwelling hackers" to do that every night or the west will learn and harden.
        Moscow just wants a generation thats got the smarts, if and when needed.
        The best way to get that is fearless practice.
        If your real Ip is spotted by the FBI, Interpol, Canada, South Africa
    • All from a lap-top and modem in a Moscow apartment shared by 2 families and 2 large dogs.

      In true spirit of /. I'm going to nitpick on technical details. Russia is not Turkmenistan, and you'll be hard pressed to find a working modem in a Moscow apartment these days. 5 to 50 Mbps, ADSL or cable, is more like it.

      • by AHuxley (892839)
        Gary McKinnon, the Uk based, US military hacker only needed a modem :)
        Point taken, internet connection would have been more correct.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by smoker2 (750216)
          Gary McKinnon isn't really a hacker. Most of his transgressions are accounted for by pinging certain US govt IPs looking for open RDP ports, and he got in because they weren't passworded. Apparently this accounts for in excess of $800,000 in damage to their systems. He also related how he used to regularly "bump into" other "hackers" while cruising those systems. He only got caught because he was using a system one day, and the real user saw his mouse moving. McKinnon pretended to be doing a security audit
          • Yes, what about the poor Aliens and their privacy?

          • Why and how can a judge just believe such thing, maybe they think because their salaries are 400k, computers must cost 50k to replace each.

            Then again, the military suppliers/corps over charge 10 fold for everything.

            If a 3rd world country imprisons a journalist seeking the truth and exposing the govt for 30 years, its 'ruthless dictators, evil despot govt' But its ok for UK/USA to do it, hypocritins, all, and I mean all of the govt and 20 levels of govt workers are all corrupt and milking the system.

            Lets hop

  • by rossz (67331) <ogre@@@geekbiker...net> on Saturday March 07, 2009 @02:18AM (#27102623) Homepage Journal

    Seriously. If they won't deal with the cyber crime and if the majority of cyber crime originates there, give the Russian government a deadline to get their asses in gear or they will be blocked. Getting this done on the backbone might be problematic, but not impossible.

    I've already blocked all of Russia and China from accessing my servers because of too many problems from those countries.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by RCL (891376)
      You seem to overestimate the power of our (Russian) government. Asking them to "fix" cyber crime is essentially the same as asking them to make Russia a developed country. They cannot do that just by issuing some law.

      Russian cyber crime is rooted in:
      • Poor and passive population
      • Nascent IT industry
      • Weak (or even lack of) law enforcement

      I'm afraid that you cannot set any reasonable deadline for a government to fix those problems. If you really wanted to fight cybercrime, you'd be engaged yourself (one who i

      • by salarelv (1314017)
        But the government could give out the criminals who the West asks from them. They don't cooperate with other nations. The EU has deadlines for new member states to get some things in order (corruption, law and even the macro economics) why can't a huge country like Russia to do the same. I think also that this is a problem of willingness not the nature and the size of the task.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by RCL (891376)
          I don't know of cases where cybercriminals were saved by Russian government from Western investigators. There are some political cases, not involving cyber crime, though, but it is a highly controversial topic.

          And about EU deadlines: I'm afraid I don't believe that Bulgaria and Romania really fulfilled the obligations. In some cases, it's impossible to fight corruption given the country current situation - Russia is such a case, and one of the reasons why is being "huge", as you mention. In order to be ef
          • In order to be effectively managed, Russia should be split into smaller independent states of the same language and culture which would later re-unite (something like US model). ...it effectively means bringing Russia into a civil war and "wild west" way of life for some moment.

            My fellow countrymen! I would rather choose Putin to rule another 12 years than let your bloody dream come true.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by DiLLeMaN (324946)

          The EU has deadlines for new member states to get some things in order (corruption, law and even the macro economics) why can't a huge country like Russia to do the same

          Because comparing a group of nations to one country which recently switched economic model and mindset from communism to "that free thing" is problematic at best.

          Not saying that Russia gets a free pass because they had a bad childhood or something, but you can't compare it with Europe. I think their size is actually working *against* them, as well.

      • by rossz (67331)

        I never said to "fix" the problem. I said give them a deadline to "get their asses in gear". Perhaps it's a language problem since I used a slang expression. What I was trying to say is give them a deadline to make an _attempt_ at dealing with the problem. From where we are sitting, the Russian government is at best doing nothing, at worse actively working with the criminals.

        No one expects an overnight miracle. What we do expect is for Russia to abide by and cooperate with international law. Your head

      • by rossz (67331)

        If you really wanted to fight cybercrime, you'd be engaged yourself (one who is not willing seeks excuses, one who is, seeks possibilities). But from what you say, you prefer just hiding from Russians and Chineese.

        After thinking about this part of your comment I became a bit annoyed. The world condemns the U.S. for "sticking our noses into other people's business". Now you are condemning us for not sticking our nose into your business. My suggestion of blocking your country is exactly what we should do t

        • by RCL (891376)
          Well, there is a lot of (deluded) people in Russia, who still believe that our country is an equal rival to States, and who are strongly anti-US (actually they're hypocrites who would not reject US money/jobs, if offered). However, such people do not, in general, visit English language sites.

          People who work abroad (usually in IT (or financial) industries) are much less conservative. I spoke for myself, not for the majority of my country, who have never met/talked to an American.
          • This is what bothers me about this.

            The US needs better relations with Russia. We saw things improving for a while. But Putin seemed to think that former Soviet republics and allies becoming friendly with Western Europe meant that they were turning against Russia.

            People in the US were hoping relations with Russia would improve to the point where war between our countries would become inconceivable, just as it is inconceivable we would go to war with UK, a country whose army once looted and burned the W
            • by RCL (891376)
              I fully agree that being able to communicate freely means less misunderstanding, less myths, and more organization. That's what even Bible tells us in a Tower of Babel story.

              However, I think that the major problem is not with US sites blocking visitors from Russia (though certainly it does not help), but inability/unwillingness of most Russians to accept reality outside the country borders (including, but not limited to, lack of interest in learning foreign languages and culture).

              Young people (my genera
              • Americans are pretty ignorant about Russia, too. Most schools don't even offer the choice of studying Russian in secondary school. When Sting wrote a song about nuclear war with the line, "I hope the Russians love their children, too," his point was that most people in the West weren't thinking of Russians as people just like themselves. We were building up nuclear arsenals in the belief that Russians would be willing to start a war if they thought our firepower weren't enough to obliterate the planet when
            • by gdy (708914)

              But Putin seemed to think that former Soviet republics and allies becoming friendly with Western Europe meant that they were turning against Russia.

              Is possible for, say, Ukraine to have open border with both EU and Russia? It effectively means open border between EU and Russia. Is it possible for Ukraine to be a member of two military alliances at the same time? I think not.

        • It wouldnt be hard for the NSA to get intel to implement a cpu based backdoor. Something that doesnt even require cpu ISA to be executed, but a series of coded calculations maybe, like specific crcs in tcp, could trigger some specific windows/unix backdoor to be made open/executed from the CPU. Not hard to add 20-50kb of code inside a rom inside the cpu with no one knowing at all.
          Hell, even including an 2meg netbsd iso inside the cpu is possible. See that giant blob called 8meg cache, maybe 10% of it is rea

      • The russians may still get in, but if you force them all via one single/small entry router/vpn/proxy, just like 300, they can all be killed on mass inside the valley.

        Unless you claim russians have access to 300,000 hijacked zombie PCs in USA to use as mount points of attack.

        Even if you usa a satelite phone inside usa by a russia agent/friend to reroute the SSH connection via local ISPs, its still a detectable point by the NSA.

      • by Sam Lowry (254040)

        Hm... you sould like someone who has not been in Russia for ages ;-)

    • by JernejL (1092807)
      USA, south american goverments, even western european.. they are all "not cooperating much" when a private website is struck by a DDoS, all you will get is an "automated photocopy response" that does nothing, if every ISP had a CERT team which HAD TO cooperate with abuse reports, DDoS would be likely a thing of the past.
    • by cheekyboy (598084)

      Good stuff, I'll go further, and white list countries from the G20 + pacific only.

      Now all we need is a simple UI/script that does it in the install setup of linux.

      I am supprised the whole of .gov .mil doesnt do this already, or at least forward all "EVIL IPS" to a differently hosts server running INSIDE russia/china or EU that is 100% purely webserver.

      • by rossz (67331)

        It's pretty damn easy to do. You get the geoip database (I forget the url, but google is your friend) and install the geoip module for iptables. Then it's one simple line:

        iptables -A INPUT -m geoip --source-country RU -j DROP

        source countries can be a comma delimited list.

        Full instructions can be found here: http://people.netfilter.org/~peejix/geoip/howto/geoip-HOWTO.html [netfilter.org]

        You can limit the block to specific ports. I block a list of countries from accessing port 25 (China being one). This has resulted in a

  • But I wonder whether authorities in those countries would be any more willing to pursue cyber crooks in their own countries if they were forced to confront just how deeply those groups have penetrated key government and private computer networks in those regions?'"

    This assumes that "government" and "criminals" in Russia isn't the same thing. Which hasn't been true for, oh, ever since Yeltsin first came to power (and actually even a bit before then).

    Who's to say those keyloggers aren't there with tacit acceptance and even encouragement of the guys higher up, as a useful surveillance tool that doesn't need any laws or warrants, and for which the government can only deny any responsibility?

    • by tetromino (807969)

      Suppose you are right, and that some of these criminals are sharing the results of their keylogging with a crooked FSB officer.

      What possible benefit would the FSB guy get from this information? What's he going to do with 10,000 passwords from random IP addresses from all over the country? Print them out, use them as a wall decoration?

      What the FSB guy needs is the password for ONE specific account for ONE specific person - say, the email address of a prominent businessman or an opposition figure. Rather than

      • What the FSB guy needs is the password for ONE specific account for ONE specific person - say, the email address of a prominent businessman or an opposition figure. Rather than going through a phisher and hoping that after N years, somewhere in the results the right password would turn up, it would make much more sense for the FSB guy to go through the usual channels (enter the premises and install a hardware keylogger, make the ISP log the suspect's packets, and so forth).

        You missed my point. Of course the FSB guys don't need to log everything on everyone! But I'm sure it comforts them to know that when they need to log someone, chances are high, he has a keylogger and all that already - and they know where to go to get access to it.

    • by yoprst (944706)
      "government" and "criminals" are definitely not the same thing. government is just the biggest player on that market (in fact, several players - government agencies commit crimes on their own, not conspiring but, in fact, competing with each other), but there are lot's of others who want their own slice of the pie
  • Just tell me... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bitrex (859228) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @02:24AM (#27102641)

    But I wonder whether authorities in those countries would be any more willing to pursue cyber crooks in their own countries if they were forced to confront just how deeply those groups have penetrated key government and private computer networks in those regions?

    I don't come to Slashdot for these kind of thought-provoking rhetorical questions about ethical and legal gray areas! Just tell me who the goodies and the baddies are! Go USA hacker-hunters, wooo!

    • Just tell me who the goodies and the baddies are! Go USA hacker-hunters, wooo!

      I'm sorry to disappoint you, but the baddies are in the USA.

      No wait, you're American? In that case, the baddies are in the rest of the world.

      • by magian (1417365)
        Nice over-generalization...how about you keep your opinions in the dark where they belong....
        • by DiLLeMaN (324946)
          I think this situation calls for a solid, heart felt *woosh*.
  • CAPExposed (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    US Authorities should be looking into their own backyard before they look into Russia.

    Casinomeister [casinomeister.com] shows an email sent from (Warren Jolly) apparently operating an online casino *** within the USA *** , taking illegal online bets from Americans. Also, the report goes on suggest that the 2 partners, Lou Fabiano (Florida) and Warren Jolly (California), were banking in the USA via Washington Mutual (now Chase Bank) and even LISTS ACCOUNT NUMBERS. It is suggested as well that the payment processing took plac

  • by TheModelEskimo (968202) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @02:46AM (#27102705)
    When I used to live in Russia, there was this incredibly gifted computer hacker who lived in the flat above me. He used to charge my mother and I about half a day's pay just to come back into the flat at night, because he was able to cyber-electronically control the entries to the building.
    We would sit at work all day, not worried about the industrial chemicals we were breathing so much as this new, digital threat that went beyond our powers of imagination. Though we were strong physically, and even had local mafia connections of our own, this man with the thick eyeglasses, tight jeans, and a sort of mangy, even putrid smell about him, held our lives for ransom with nothing but a few keystrokes and some Zholz Cola.

    Sorry, just kidding...I never lived in Russia. But the whole idea of this article seems a bit funny to me.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    USA still the World's leading producer of spam, why do the USA government do so little about it. Are they being paid off or is there a more sinister motive for their compliance with the criminals ?
  • by GeekDork (194851)

    Cut Russia and China off the internet for a week and see what it does.

    • by RCL (891376)
      The Internet will fragment itself into pieces. See the history of IRC and how it all ended for the network.

      Luckily, you actually cannot cut us (I'm Russian) off, nor you can do anything to prevent this large population (1,5 bln people: Russia and China combined) from using computers, joining networks and/or cracking the software. Just think how hard Chineese government tries to cut off its people from outside world and how badly it fails.
    • The US is in depth, the last thing it needs right now is to upset China who it owns money too, or Russia that could easily start up another arms race.

      The US already has more then enough foreign wars to deal with as it is, it does NOT need cold war 2.0

      • Without wars the USA could become a normal country. But I don't believe in miracles any more.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by maxume (22995)

        If China tried to call in its credit, it would get lots of nice green paper, and a polite invitation not to do business in the U.S. anymore.

        It would be tough for the U.S. to deal with (anything that China produces a lot of would suddenly get more expensive; good thing they don't provide all that much food, energy or basic material...), but it would be disastrous for China (the stability of the country depends on the government providing economic growth and opportunity).

    • by yoprst (944706)
      How exactly would you do that?
  • by Max_W (812974) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @03:47AM (#27102889)
    A lot of computers in Russia run cracked version of Windows. I do not know the exact figure, but I would think 99%. A CD with a cracked Windows, PhotoShop, AutoCad, etc. costs about USD 3.- at a street market. The same is for other countries of the FSU.

    So what is installed from these CDs is anybody's guess. No need even to infect, a hidden program may come right from an installation CD. The groups that crack Windows sometimes even write their own copyright notice on CDs.

    The disk with an authentic Windows is possible to buy only in large cities. Very few shops sell authentic Windows DVD, as they seem to be too expensive for majority of users. I could find out and buy there only a "gray" OEM Windows Vista Russian version for an equivalent of several hundred USD.

    No need to say that these Windows installations do not update via Windows update. WTO makes Russian government to fight cracked software. So sometimes militiamen come to the places, where cracked software is sold and break DVDs and CDs. Then these markets just move into more obscure places.

    So what have we got? Millions and millions of PCs, which run OS that cannot be patched or updated. So, guess what, these millions PCs neither patched, not updated.

    Whose fault is this? When I try to use an alternative OS, like Linux, a lot of scanners, USB devices, video-cards, etc. just do not work, as drivers either non-existent or bad, made by rear-engineering. Because the hardware vendors provide drivers only for 1 and only OS.

    Now we blame Russia for DDoS attacks. But what Russian government can do? Can it lower the price on the monopoly OS? Can it write drivers for peripheral devices so that people move away from the mono-OS culture?

    It is easy to blame people in Eastern Europe for being of criminal persuasion, but for an average PC user in that parts there is absolutely no choice. Even if someone wants to buy the legal OS or software there are no shops which sell such, but the cracked soft is sold on every corner. Why is it so easy to crack by the way, if there is strong encryption around?

    So someone imposed the worldwide OS monopoly of easily cracked software via convoluted drivers policies. The cracked versions of this software are easily infected as they do not update. Hundreds of millions of PCs run this s*** and the blame is on the Russian government and "bad" people of the East, of course.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Max_W (812974)
      By the way, these DDoS attacks coming from the IPs in Russia and FSU could be originated from anywhere. Because the PCs in these parts, which run non-updateable non-patchable Windows, are easy prey for any malicious individual or group around the world.

      What I mean is that this problem is of a commercial origin, non political. In the past even cracked versions of Windows could be updated via Windows update, but now there is the authenticity check. And if the OS is not authentic - highway.

      Windows was made

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by somenickname (1270442)

      Whose fault is this? When I try to use an alternative OS, like Linux, a lot of scanners, USB devices, video-cards, etc. just do not work, as drivers either non-existent or bad, made by rear-engineering. Because the hardware vendors provide drivers only for 1 and only OS.

      Now we blame Russia for DDoS attacks. But what Russian government can do? Can it lower the price on the monopoly OS? Can it write drivers for peripheral devices so that people move away from the mono-OS culture?

      If the government were actually interested in fixing this situation they could:

      1) Create their own linux distro and mandate that the government use it. They have already said they want to do this and it was previously discussed on Slashdot.

      2) Pass a law that says no new computer can be sold without a legitimate operating system on it (It doesn't matter if it's Windows, Russian Linux, OSX. It just must be a legal copy). More importantly, enforce the law. This should at least get most or all new computers

      • 1) Create their own linux distro and mandate that the government use it. They have already said they want to do this and it was previously discussed on Slashdot.

        2) Pass a law that says no new computer can be sold without a legitimate operating system on it (It doesn't matter if it's Windows, Russian Linux, OSX. It just must be a legal copy). More importantly, enforce the law. This should at least get most or all new computers pre-installed with the Russian OS just to comply with the law.

        3) Refuse to let hardware vendors sell a product in Russia if it doesn't work out of the box or have a verified driver for Russian Linux on the installation CD. Linux generally has better hardware support than Windows these days so, this really isn't too onerous of a requirement on hardware vendors.

        Isn't the whole point here, though, that the government in Russia is basically ineffectual and doesn't seem capable of policing its citizens? If there were onerous restrictions on buying new computers, people would just get those on the black market too.

    • Firstly as far as I know Microsoft does issue security patches even for cracked versions of Windows. Also most Eastern Europe countries have forced the laws about selling cracked versions of software quite strongly. The last time I remember seeing someone sell cracked software was more than 5 years ago. AFAIK Eastern Europe just downloads like the rest of countries do. Secondly, while it is true that the attacks were performed by individuals, the media in the supposed attacking country did encourage the at
    • It's not that hard to fool Genuine Windows validation and keep Windows patched (on XP, at least - all that required is patched version of LegitCheckControl.dll which is easy to find). My guess is that most of these pirated XP disks already have validation cracked and latest service packs installed.

      The problem is inherent to Windows itself - legit or not, cracked ot original, some day your Windows PC is going to be 0wn3d.

    • by Archon-X (264195) on Saturday March 07, 2009 @08:10AM (#27103713)

      I don't know anything about your background or travels, but I find the picture that you paint of russia contrasts strongly with that of what I've seen.

      Bear in mind that Moscow has been the world's most expensive city to live in for multiple consecutive years now [ 1 [cnn.com] 2 [smh.com.au] ]

      What you seem to be regurgitating in your post is rhetoric, which you've taken it upon yourself to extrapolate wildly.

      There are multiple vectors for disassembling your post, but the most obvious ones are:

      So what have we got? Millions and millions of PCs, which run OS that cannot be patched or updated. So, guess what, these millions PCs neither patched, not updated.

      The last check of google reports over 194,000 hits for WGA cracks [3 [google.com.au]].

      I'd love to see the data behind your bold claim, in which you plead ignorance, but continue to fabricate 'statistics'.

      A lot of computers in Russia run cracked version of Windows. I do not know the exact figure, but I would think 99%.

      On a closing note, I'm amazed noone else has yet flamed you for posting:

      When I try to use an alternative OS, like Linux, a lot of scanners, USB devices, video-cards, etc. just do not work, as drivers either non-existent or bad, made by rear-engineering. Because the hardware vendors provide drivers only for 1 and only OS.

      Maybe you should do some research in general, and pay a visit to distrowatch...

      • by Max_W (812974)
        I lived in Russia for 17 years, even more in Ukraine. Now I work in the West. I do not have exact figures, but I am convinced that the figure should be close to 100% of cracked Windows installations.

        Most of these PCs are not updated due to the relatively recent Windows authenticity check. The most widespread browser is still IE6(!) in the RuNet.

        Anybody, anybody, can install and run bots on these PCs. I do not exclude that these cyber attacks are carried out from Russian IPs by people who want to make ba

      • by Cyberax (705495)

        Well, there's a joke in Russia that Moscow and the rest of Russia are separate states: "Are you from Moscow or from Russia?"

        That's actually pretty close to truth. There is a LOT of unpatched pirated Windows installations in Russia (not 99%, but pretty close) and DVDs with pirated software are common.

        • Well, there's a joke in Russia that Moscow and the rest of Russia are separate states: "Are you from Moscow or from Russia?"

          Some of us in the United States feel that way about Washington, D.C. The people who run the country aren't really in touch with the rest of it.

    • by gad_zuki! (70830)

      No need to say that these Windows installations do not update via Windows update.

      Automatic updates works on these machines, just not through the website.

    • A lot of computers in Russia run cracked version of Windows. I do not know the exact figure, but I would think 99%.

      I will grant that it is high, but probably not that high. I admit that I do not follow the software piracy numbers on a regular basis but I seem to remember that even china was only 97% or so. Yes, two (2) percentage points is a minor quible, but you know how we here on Slashdot are about minor technical points and hair splitting.

      A CD with a cracked Windows, PhotoShop, AutoCad, etc. costs about USD 3.- at a street market. The same is for other countries of the FSU.

      I can certainly believe that this is true, especially for individual private buyers. These people have almost nothing to lose if they do get caught and much to gain from an self-fu

      • And Russia is going for Linux as its National Operating System, right?

      • As for cybercrime and software piracy being low priorities on Russias government (or that of the other E.Europe countries for that matter) does it really surprise anybody? Indeed those are minor things compared to unemployment and poverty in my book so at least this is not something to blame to those governments.

    • First, in Russia, just like in any other country, all new computers from large vendors and all notebooks come with preinstalled Windows. Russian version of Windows, licensed and all...

      Next, I manage several servers and see a lot of spam, coming from owned PCs. There are quite a few that are located in Russia. The biggest share of obvious bots comes from the Southern America. But US and Europe have a share of this too.

      This article is nothing but anti-Russian FUD. Like Russian government could handle the
  • by khallow (566160)
    I was originally going to observe that I couldn't see how you could possibly "shame" Russia into doing anything. But that observation holds for all governments. The concept of the title just won't work. Government cannot be shamed.
  • Some Russian hackers will not be touched as long as they are bringing foreign money home to Russia.
    Phone sales used to work like that in Florida. Crooked companies called all over America from Florida bases. It was a huge industry employing tens of thousands in the Miami, Ft. Lauderdale area. As long as cash was being brought into Florida law enforcement wouldn't touch these criminals. These companies had an absolute rule about never selling anything within t

  • This is the first time I hear about this myth. Traditional ethnic organized crime: cosa nostra, vory v zakone, etc. targets mostly people of their own ethnicity. Why would cyber criminals be different unless they have some idealistic agenda? From my experience w/ criminals is that it is the most non-ideological group of people.

    • Traditional ethnic organized crime hits mostly people of their own ethnicity because their neighbors are conveniently close at hand. Online, though, it's just as easy to hit an EUian as a neighbor. Even if Russians are hit with the same probability as anyone in the world the result is a net positive cash flow into Russia.

  • From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org], Bulletproof hosting (sometimes known as 'bulk-friendly' hosting) is a service provided by domain hosts which allows their customer considerable leniency in the kinds of material they may upload. This leniency has been taken advantage of by spammers and providers of online gambling or pornography.[1]
    Many service providers have Terms of Service that do not allow certain materials to be uploaded, or the service to be used in a particular way, and may suspend a hosting account, after a few compl

    • by rel4x (783238)
      That has been true in the past, but nowadays it's largely "fast flux" hosting. Essentially just botnets where the name servers/web host change every X interval, so nothing can get shut down. If you tried, by the time you got off hold with the ISP and talked to a real human the website would be hosted elsewhere.
  • ha ha (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TrueRecord (1101681)

    US authorities simply aren't getting the cooperation they need

    "US authorities" are not authority and suck.

    Did "US authorities" ever wonder what the rest of the world needs?

  • by whitroth (9367) <whitroth AT 5-cent DOT us> on Saturday March 07, 2009 @01:37PM (#27105637) Homepage

    Unless you feel like living in the Untied Snakes of Aremica

          mark

  • The real solutions to Cyber Crime is to use a computer that don't get infected by malware.
  • 'There also is evidence that cyber crooks have deeply compromised some key Russian and Eastern European government agencies and corporations, as well as top officials at those entities'

    The only evidence for such a statement is a map of alleged traffic coming from compromised machines. As to how they got compromised is anyone's guess. Under such logic, the management at Heartland Payment Systems ("HPY [slashdot.org]) must have also colluded when their credit card payment processing system was compromised for months with
  • We must not allow a cybercrime gap, bring back the cold war is what I say ..

    General "Buck" Turgidson: Mr. President, we must not allow a mineshaft gap [imdb.com]!
  • To anyone familiar with Russian methods, the solution is obvious — capture the criminals and put them into special prison, from where they'll have to work for the State in order to be "awarded" something like a pack of cigarettes, or a can of condensed milk.

    They've done worse before — forcing completely innocent people to work on things like fighter planes [wikipedia.org] and nuclear weapons [globalsecurity.org] on threat of immediate execution or slow wasting away at a labor camp, so why not do this to people actually deserving

    • You write about the USSR, not Russia.

      Besides, your examples have a humor in themselves :-). You'd better remember how in the US they treated their own ppl (the blacks) *at that same time*.

      btw, do you think America equals the USA? I believe you do.

      • by mi (197448)

        You'd better remember how in the US they treated their own ppl (the blacks) *at that same time*.

        How? USSR — during those times — has killed over 30 million of its own citizens, either by direct execution or via truly hard labor in harsh conditions. What did Blacks suffer — discrimination? Does not compare — except in the minds of the Russian propagandists, who have — since Brezhnev's days at least — always countered the obvious advantages of America with: "Yea, but they b

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