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 Wednesday, September 12, 2007

An article on The Economist discusses RBN (Russian Business Company), the threats it poses to global cybersecurity, and the lack of cooperation from the Russian government. VeriSign classifies RBN as "“the baddest of the bad"”. The anonymity of the group and its senior figures who are only known through their nicknames, and the apparent backing of politicians have led to the continuing success of its operations. "'“RBN is a for-hire service catering to large-scale criminal operations,”' says the report. It hosts cybercriminals, ranging from spammers to phishers, bot-herders and all manner of other fraudsters and wrongdoers from the venal to the vicious. Just one big scam, called Rock Phish (where gullible internet users were tricked into entering personal financial information such as bank account details) made $150m last year, VeriSign estimates." Another difficulty RBN poses is its ability to fight back. This had been evident in the Rock Phish attack to the National Bank of Australia in October 2006. After taking active measures against the attack, RBN fought back by taking down the bank’s home-page for three days.

Despite VeriSign having tracked down the physical location of RBN’s servers and the Western law enforcement officers' pressure on their Russian counterparts to pursue the investigation vigorously, RBN remains confident and active. According to VeriSign, "only strong political pressure on Russia will make the criminal justice system there deal with this glaring example of cyber-illegality."

To read the full article, go to The Economist.