Global hacker threat comes from Russia?

Cyber attacks are now considered as dangerous as terrorism and nuclear proliferation. Russia and China are the most serious sources of cyber threats, according to a recent NATO report.

A Russian hacker who didn’t want to be identified told RT that his work is pretty simple.

“Customers may vary from school pupils to entrepreneurs. The number of orders depends on what you do and professionalism,” the hacker said. “I don’t feel any specific danger from the authorities, either domestic or from abroad. Hackers will always be one step ahead of the law. It’s always been this way and will continue to be so.”

It’s not just about hacking into private lives – cyber attacks have the ability to bring entire countries offline.

In Estonia in 2007 and in Georgia during the war in 2008, hackers were able to freeze all internet activity and crucially deny service to banking and government systems. Many accused the Russian government of orchestrating the cyber attacks – a claim Moscow denies, even though hacking in Russia has a long and well-established history.

A notorious ring known as the RBN, or Russian Business Network, was set up in St. Petersburg in the late 1990. As well as launching denial of service and phishing attacks, it is said to have hosted over 1,500 child pornography websites.

Under pressure from IT specialists and the Russian government, the RBN officially crumbled in 2007, but no one was caught. Instead, the organization moved operations to China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the UK and the US – and is still considered highly dangerous.

“They are able to take a whole country offline and off the Internet,” Ahmed Jart Ahmed from the RBNExploit group says about the hackers. “This is why NATO currently feels that RBN is a threat and the Russian hackers’ community is a general threat.”

The main obstacle in busting cyber criminals lies in Russian law – for police to start proceedings, they need a statement from the person affected, which rarely happens. IT specialists like Aleksandr Gostev from Kaspersky Lab also blame a lack of international cooperation.

“We need to create a kind of Interpol that could coordinate the work of such cyber agencies,” Gostev said. “Such steps are being taken – there is an organization called IMPACT co-founded by us which has established close ties with some law-enforcement agencies all over the world.”

And it is this type of framework which experts say is critical, because fighting a global threat will only work with global collaboration.