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Medvedev to hold meeting on cyber security in banking sector

June 03, 10:32 UTC+3 MOSCOW
it is planned to consider a set of measures to improve information security in the country’s financial organizations
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© Alexander Astafyev/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, June 3. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will hold a meeting on Friday on information security in the credit and financial sphere. The government’s press service reported that it is planned to consider a set of measures to improve information security in the country’s financial organizations.

Medvedev announced the plans to hold such a meeting on May 31. It was planned to discuss the fight against cybercrime. In particular, the government officials will focus on establishing a network for the fight against cyber threats on the Sberbank (Savings Bank) platform. Another topic, according to the prime minister, will be the issue of the banks’ issued loans’ reserve requirements.

First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, presidential aide Andrei Belousov, Minister of Communications and Mass Media Nikolai Nikiforov, Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov, Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev, representatives of other ministries and departments, the heads of major banks will participate in the meeting. Thus, Vice President of VTB Bank Dmitry Nazipov earlier confirmed the bank’s participation in the event.

The government’s materials say that the relevance of the meeting’s theme is caused by the increasing attention of criminal groups to the possibility of quick wealth accumulation by means of the use of vulnerabilities of the financial transactions’ information technology. For example, in 2015 - 2016, a sharp increase in the number of large-scale hacker attacks (cyberattacks) on online banking services was recorded.

In this regard, in 2015 the Bank of Russia created within its structure the Monitoring Centre for responding to computer attacks in the credit and financial sphere, which coordinates the work to counter such attacks. The Center shares its data with the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), the Interior Ministry and with the state system of detection, prevention and liquidation of consequences of computer attacks on Russia’s information resources.

Fight against cyber attacks

The damage done by cyber criminals who attack Russian banks and steal money from their accounts, is estimated at billions of rubles. Recently, the Federal Security Service in cooperation with Interior Ministry has stopped the criminal activity of a hacker group involved in the creation, distribution and use of malicious software. With the help of criminals stole more than 1.7 billion rubles ($25.45 million) from the accounts of Russian banks. Investigators found out that the group committed at least 18 targeted attacks, the damage from which has exceeded 3 billion rubles ($44.73 million). The police in this case have managed to prevent the possible additional damage worth in excess of 2.2 billion rubles ($32.87 million).

The hackers had been stealing money from bank accounts in Russia and other countries of the CIS by using the Trojan software called Lurk. Six Russian banks, including Metallinvestbank, Russian International Bank, Metropol and Regnum, fell victims of cybercriminals in March-April 2016, according to a source close to investigation.

The law enforcement agencies are not alone fighting against cybercrime. Russia’s major banks, as well as some IT-companies are actively involved in this work. For example, Sberbank’s cybersecurity units have prevented a hacker attack on the territorial branches and subsidiaries of the bank and VTB provided assistance to the FSB and Interior Ministry in their recent operation, but was not directly involved in the operational search action.

At a meeting of Sberbank shareholders at the end of May, the bank President German Gref said that Sberbank wanted to establish a closed network with companies and mobile operators, which would allow it effectively resist attempts to hack bank systems.

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