Meet The Hackers
Russian computer hackers distinct from their predecessors for their youth, organization, and brazenness are among law enforcement’s most wanted cybercrooks. Factors contributing to their notoriety and success include their country’s strong technical universities, low salaries, and beleaguered court system.
Political tension can also hinder local law enforcement’s cooperation in bringing these criminals to justice. Dmitry Golubov, a 22-year-old Ukrainian, was arrested last year for a series of cybercrimes, including credit-card fraud, allegedly perpetrated by an international gang of hackers he masterminded; yet he was released on a personal recognizance bond from two Ukrainian politicians who defended his character.
Russian-born Leo Kuvayev, 34, was named in a lawsuit filed by the state of Massachusetts last May accusing him and six accomplices of sending millions of spam emails to peddle illicit products through American and international Web-hosting servers, in violation of the 2003 CAN-SPAM Act.
State officials think Kuvayev, who Spamhaus ranks as one of the world’s three leading spammers, may have taken refuge in Russia, where antispamming laws are nonexistent, before he was sued. Federal law enforcement officials believe Kuvayev was making over $30 million annually through his spamming business, and he and his co-defendants were ordered by the court to pay $37 million in civil restitution for sending approximately 150,000 illegal emails.
The 2005 FBI Computer Crime Survey estimated that $67 billion is lost every year to computer crime, while 87 percent of the 2,066 surveyed companies admitted to a security incident.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from BusinessWeek (05/29/06) No. 3986, P. 58; Ante, Spencer E.; Grow, Brian; Olearchyk, Roman.