Russian mafia and cybercrime

How much of the world’s cybercrime is the Russian mafia really responsible for? IIRC a Russian gangster convicted a few years ago was responsible for 1/3 of the worlds spam email. They have served as a scapegoat for decades and I am wondering how much they are really responsible for. Whenever a new hack or virus comes out, somebody always says “It was probably the Russian mafia”.

More interesting: what connection does Kaspersky Labs have with the Russian cyber criminal underworld-it would be an excellent arrangement-a Russian criminal infects your computer, and you pay Kaspersky to remove the virus. Recent revelations about Russian government bloggers spreading misinformation is also interesting-not too much of a stretch to extrapolate this to planting flase rumors about stocks, financial markets, etc., to benefit the scammers.

You remember incorrectly. Oleg Nikolaenko is a computer nerd, not a gangster.

Why do you suppose there could be any kind of connection? Simply because Kaspersky Labs and The Russian Cyber Criminal Underworld[sup]TM[/sup] are both located in Russia? That link all by itself is a little spurious.

And also possibly libel.

Well, that’s DEFINITELY hyperbole.

Well, it is simply that everytime a new worm/virus appears, there is already somebody willing to remove it. I did not say that any such relationship exists, I pointed out that if such a relationship existed, it would be mutually beneficial to the hackers and the anti-virus software makers.

That’s the business model of an antivirus company. Of course they rush to have a solution available as fast as possible; that’s what that industry is all about.

In other words, your post was entirely devoid of any substance.

Come on, he was asking a question. I think the fair answer is that there does not seem to be any relationship between Kaspersky and organized crime.

There are undoubtedly connections between Kaspersky and Russian intelligence services, but there seems to be a debate on how close those ties are. Some seem to think it is a relatively good comparison to how Google and such sometimes work with US intelligence agencies, others insinuate that there is a much deeper connection, given Kaspersky’s education at FSB/KGB institutions.

Maybe I’m doing injustice to ralph124c here (in which case I apologise), but his question sounded a lot like the true intention was to insinuate that Kaspersky cooperates with Russian organised crime. He didn’t want to put it that bluntly, however, so he phrased it ostensibly like a question (“I wonder if there are links…”). That way, when you’re refuted, your defence will be “What?!? I didn’t claim anything! I was just wondering!”. If that is the way you’re going, then my personal reaction to that is: True, in your post you were “just wondering”. In fact, you didn’t say shit in your own post, since you yourself denied that the content which could have been there isn’t. It’s a post entirely devoid of meaning and, therefore, not worthy of attention.

Again, maybe I’m doing ralph124c injustice here. But his post sounded a lot to me like that was his intention, and I have personally nothing but disgust for this kind of debating technique.

I remember a Dilbert comic along these lines, so you’re hardly the first person to wonder about a possible connection.

I see what you mean, but he also postulated that if a Russian cyber-gangster infected your computer, you’d have to pay Kaspersky to remove it. As it was written, I think that was a hypothetical situation rather than him actually thinking that Kaspersky is today engaged in a shake-down racket. “Nice computer you have there… would be a shame if anything… happened to it… in Soviet Russia. No, wait, forget that last part.”

I am sure that there are manny, manny threads that are started with not enough content to be protected from the ‘grammar’ … er… ah … spelling police… no, no, it is the content police.

Now I am scared because I have started some of them. I am chastised for even commenting because my post are without the proper content.

Next will be the ‘poster content police.’

::::::::::::::::: flee :::::::::::::::::

My (possibly incorrect) understanding is that all an anti-virus program does, on average, is check if a file contains any content that it finds in a table of code signatures. You can think of it like a having a book of photos of criminals and checking each person who comes into or leaves a building to see if they’re in the book.

As such, identifying the virus is basically synonymous with “developing” a solution against it. Once you’ve tracked the sucker down, snapping a photo isn’t that onerous a task. It’s the finding out that the thing exists and tracking down a sample that is (generally) the hard part.

Consequently, as soon as you can announce the existence of a virus you can also announce the solution.