How the share of crimes with the help of IT is changing
From January to September 2023, the share of crimes committed using information technology (IT) increased sharply to 33.3% of the total number of registered cases, the data shows. Ministry of Internal Affairs Russia (Izvestia studied them). The remaining two-thirds of atrocities were committed, so to speak, offline: for example, theft, burglaries, burglaries, murders.
The share of IT crimes has become the largest in the entire history of such statistics. In just nine months of 2023, the department registered 489 thousand atrocities (29% more than in the same period last year).
Before this, the dynamics of such offenses were multidirectional. From January to September 2020, amid the pandemic, their share almost doubled, to 23.6%. Then, in 2021, it rose to 26.5%, and in 2022 it decreased to 25.3%.
The number of crimes using the Internet increased the most in absolute terms over the year – from 276.1 thousand to 377.6 thousand. Frauds committed using mobile communications and plastic cards took second and third places. Their number increased to 220.2 thousand and 99.6 thousand, respectively. Also, offenses involving the use of computer equipment, software and fictitious electronic payments have become more frequent, the report says.
By the way, in the same period last year, all of the above tools (except the Internet) showed a decrease compared to the same period in 2021 in the range from 2 to 28%. Izvestia sent a request to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Fraudsters attack citizens and companies
Cybercriminals are indeed increasingly launching attacks on both citizens and companies, security experts from specialized companies and banks told Izvestia. Credit organizations are at the forefront of the fight against Internet fraudsters, because if a person has been scammed out of money from his card, the first thing he does is report it to the bank.
The number of complaints about social engineering in the banking sector in January-September 2023 increased one and a half times, to 4.6 thousand, the Central Bank reported. The number of phishing cases increased 2.3 times.
Phishing is deceiving users via the Internet: as a rule, a person, under various pretexts, goes to fraudulent sites, where he leaves personal or banking information.
The growth trend of fraud was confirmed by VTB, Rosbank, Gazprombank and UBRD. Rosbank called the increase in attacks since the beginning of the year “multiple.” In some areas, such as phishing, attacks are increasing, VTB reported. At the same time, they added that since the beginning of the year, 5.3 million reports of calls from intruders have been received, which is 20% less than in the same period in 2022.
The increase in fraud is explained by the fact that criminal groups have restructured and updated their schemes, including in terms of financial channels for withdrawing money, said Alexey Pleshkov, deputy head of the information security department of Gazprombank. At the same time, the director of the information security department of the PSB, Dmitry Miklukho, noted that citizens have become more careful about calls from unfamiliar numbers, which has forced attackers to more often use phishing links leading to fake sites.
The general increase in the number of registered crimes using IT is due to the large number of various cyber attacks committed on information systems and infrastructure of the Russian Federation, says Mikhail Ivanov from Rosbank. For attackers, cheating online is often not as dangerous as attacking people or companies offline.
— More than 50% of successful attacks on organizations in the three quarters of 2023 were carried out using malicious software (malware). Among them, we can highlight the widespread use of ransomware. In most cases, such programs were distributed through email during attacks on organizations, as well as when computers, servers and network equipment were compromised, noted Irina Zinovkina, head of the Positive Technologies research group.
In addition to malware, social engineering and exploitation of vulnerabilities still remain popular among attackers, the expert added.
Ways to protect yourself from scammers on the Internet
“In periods of economic instability and increased uncertainty, as now, the number of fraudulent attacks always increases,” said Kliment Kuzmin, CEO of the studio for developing digital solutions for business OASIS App.
The expert is confident: in order to minimize risks, it is necessary to promptly find “weak points” and strengthen protection. Citizens should always remember about digital hygiene, as well as create strong passwords and not click on unfamiliar links.
“The Bank of Russia has repeatedly drawn attention to the fact that, based on the current agenda, fraudsters quickly change their schemes to steal money from citizens,” the regulator told Izvestia. “They can intimidate, rush and put pressure, or, on the contrary, try to interest and delight with sudden benefits.
According to the Central Bank, in the six months of 2023, fraudsters stole more than 8 billion rubles from Russians, which is a third more than last year’s figures. Only 4.39% of the total amount was returned – about 356.6 million.