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Sergey Gamko: “Instruments for cybercrime prevention are to be improved constantly”

Conception of information security of Belarus was approved by the President on March 18. The persons, which must provide protection of the country from information security threats, include investigators. Every day they have to be faced with consequences of advanced technologies implementation into our life, because not only law-abiding citizens, but also law-breakers use them. Investigation instruments, which were effective yet yesterday, can be useless even today. The chief of administration on investigation of crimes against information security and intellectual property of the Investigative Committee, Sergey Gamko, told about the instruments, which help in investigation of cybercrimes.  

“We proceed to observe considerable increase of crimes against information security. The statistics confirms the same: in 2018, comparing with 2013, the number of applications about cybercrimes, which were forwarded to the Investigative Committee, increased for more than 5 times. Dynamics is stipulated by increase of the number of thefts with the use of computer technologies, registered in the republic (by 54%) and facts of unauthorized access to computer information (by 97,4%). Extraordinary majority of unauthorized accesses is carried out to the user accounts in social networking websites”, - Sergey Gamko says. 

He noted that the schemes of cybercrimes become more difficult and inventive, the means of network anonymity ensuring are improved, the new risks, challenges and threats in information space appear increasingly. “As evidences in practice, cybercriminals act from the territories of different states. Pursuant thereto we have to cooperate constantly in a timely manner with foreign law enforcement officers and representatives of private companies, - Sergey Gamko notes. – We understand fine that the instruments, which were effective upon investigation of cybercrimes yet yesterday, can be absolutely useless even today. In respect thereof, the activity of officers of our subdivisions is improved constantly”.

For example, every year the investigators take training and take part in joint meetings and trainings in Russia, Armenia, Moldova, other countries, as well as on the base of the National Cyber-Forensic and Training Alliance, NCFTA in American Pittsburgh. Participation in joint practical trainings and seminars allows using the knowledge gained upon investigation of criminal cases more effectively. 

 “Now we investigate cybercrimes, which affects rights and legal interests of citizens and organizations not only in Belarus, but also in the other countries. Law-breakers, against which the legal cases are brought, are often the members of international organized groups, acting simultaneously in the territories of several states. As a rule, their objective is the information, stored in computer systems and networks of the USA, Great Britain and countries of the Western Europe”, - Sergey Gamko highlighted.

Millions of Belarusians use different webmail services, social networking websites, messengers, services of online stores, banks and payment systems. “Upon investigation of criminal cases we are faced with the facts of violation of systems of protection and safety ensuring of information, which the citizens leave in their accounts. This information touches upon almost all spheres of life-sustaining activity of the person, is of his/her personal or financial secret”, - Sergey Gamko says. 

The example of how personal data of people became the goods can be one of the recent criminal cases in respect of the resident of Bobruysk, which earned money by selling the stolen information during two years. With the use of his home computer the guy effected cyberattacks to the foreign Internet resources, which belong to the large international payment systems, banks, online-stores and services, for example Amazon, Airbnb or PayPal. With the use of malicious software the resident of Bobruysk obtained logins and passwords to the user accounts. After that he sold them for bitcoins in the dark net via online-stores, controlled by him. About 300 resources were attacked by Belarusian. 

“There is the certain demand in the global Network for the information, as well as for any goods or service. If you have any information of interest at disposal, you can manipulate the victim easily, gain possession of its money. The evidences we get during investigation allow us to make a conclusion, that illegal interference to the private life of citizens, theft of their personal data, discredit of access details to the accounts, are the attributes of modern cybercrimes more and more often”, - Sergey Gamko notes. 

The resident of Bobruysk had the customers from the whole world, the thousands of them acquired access details of other people and disposed user accounts for fraudulent transactions on behalf of their legal owners. The buyers of logins and passwords gained possession of about 5 million USD in such a way in period from 2016 till 2018. The resident of Bobruysk earned about 60 thousand USD on the sale of information of other people. The criminal case regarding him is already considered by the court. 

According to Sergey Gamko, in this case, as well as upon investigation of many other cybercrimes, the important aspects are international contacts of Belarusian Investigative Committee: “Successful establishment of all circumstances of committed crimes depended a lot on cooperation of our institution with the representatives of FBI of the USA, international payment system American Express, security services of international systems Western Union and PayPal. I’d like to express special gratitude to the officers of Belarusian company “VirusBlokAda”, which for the first time in our practice examined completely computer programs like brute force, used and disposed by the accused, having determined their harmfulness”.

That is just one of the great number of cybercrimes. As was already mentioned, the extraordinary majority of unauthorized accesses is carried out with regard to the accounts of Belarusians in social networking websites. Each Internet user must observe safety precautions, for example to use and timely update antivirus software, to change access passwords to the used resources at regular times, not to follow unknown links. It will allow avoiding virtual threats in information environment. 

“People crack accounts in social networking websites of their casual friends, friends, offenders or enemies. They do it to make a joke, to do harm or to revenge for something, but they do not think that they risk to be held administratively or criminally liable for the actions they performed. We bring to the notice of our citizens that one has to think carefully about consequences before performing any actions in the Internet”, - Sergey Gamko reminded. 

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