Russia under fire
“Cybercrime, however, is strongly geared towards Eastern Europe,” says John Focker, who researches digital attacks and the criminals behind them at security firm McAfee. Persecution could also improve in other former Soviet states.
However, it is mainly Russia that is now under attack. What doesn’t help is that in addition to harboring criminal attackers, the country has been under fire for some time due to the alleged hack by the government.
For example, Russia tried to influence the US elections. Just last week, Russian government hackers were said to have infiltrated the Republican Party, although the party denies data theft.
On top of that comes ransomware attacks by criminals, and they are increasing in size. If parts of critical infrastructure come under attack, they could pose threats to national security, NCTV recently warned.
close your eyes
Russia turns a blind eye to criminal attackers for several reasons, says van der mer van Klingendael. “Weakening society is a goal for Russia,” van der Meer said. Planting misinformation and disruption, as well as harming business, is part of that.
In addition, according to him, the Russian government also directly benefits from the attackers: “If the criminals are caught, they can choose: go to prison, or give the Kremlin a helping hand every now and then. And if they then attack on behalf of the Kremlin and are caught, The Kremlin could easily say: We know nothing.
For this reason, according to Groenewegen, it is often pointless to seek help from Russian authorities if there are indications of Russian criminals in a Dutch cybercrime case.
Van der Meer: “You can identify and track down criminals, but nothing happens. They can go on with impunity.”
Meanwhile, the Kremlin denies everything. “According to the Russian government, these are criminal hackers who have nothing to do with the government,” said Iris de Graaf, NOS Russia correspondent. Thus, the Kremlin asserts that the West is using hacking attacks to put Russia in a bad light.