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Terrorism: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Improving Responses - U.S.-Russian Workshop Proceedings
common characteristics of such crimes include the following: As a rule they have no physical manifestations, and they are distinguished by a high degree of latency, that is, they occur undetected, which according to expert assessments reaches 85 to 90 percent in Russia.
Cybercriminals are using various types of attacks that allow them to penetrate corporate networks, seize control over them, or block exchanges of information. They also use computer viruses, including network worms, which modify or delete data or block the operation of computer systems; logic bombs, which are activated under certain conditions; or Trojan horses, which send various data from an infected computer to their “owners” over the Internet.
The weapons of cybercriminals are constantly being improved, and their tools for mounting information attacks are becoming increasingly refined. In the future, we can expect to see new nontraditional types of network attacks and computer crimes.
Today, such new concepts as information security and, more precisely, network security have entered our lives. For example, the first known virus transmitted over the Internet, HAPPY-99, appeared in January 1999. It is believed (although not officially proven) that this virus, which affected the entire global network, appeared first in Russia and was created to obtain access to the passwords of customers of many Western banks.
The U.S.-based Computer Security Institute has reported that in 1999 about 90 percent of major firms and governmental organizations surveyed had discovered security violations of their computer systems. Furthermore, 70 percent of these firms and organizations noted that these violations were the result of intentional actions by criminal elements working over the Internet. According to the results of a poll of 273 organizations, it was determined that their financial losses totaled more than $265 million, or an average of about $1 million per organization. The survey also found that attacks by hackers against major companies increased by 79 percent from July to December 2001.
In April 2001 a Russian hacker broke into the Internet server of a company in the U.S. city of McLean, Virginia, that provides online banking services. He demanded to be paid not to distribute the confidential data and to destroy them instead. According to information from leading research firms, the worldwide volume of damage from malicious programs totaled about $14.5 million in 2002. But, as many companies often hide the real extent of the damage, it could easily be double that figure.
In October 2002, American intelligence services reported on the most serious attack on root DNS (Domain Name System) servers in the history of the Internet. According to information from the National Infrastructure Protection Center of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations, during the attack, 7 of the 13 servers managing global Internet traffic stopped responding to user requests, and the operation of two other servers was intermittently interrupted. The root servers had been targeted to receive an enormous number of incorrect requests,