In recent times Russia has become known for being a cyber-crime hub. This is due to many Russian hacking organizations orchestrating major attacks without consequences. The US has called out Russia on this issue multiple times, asking the country to take action.
Taking the Dark-Net Seriously
Russia was never known for taking action against cyber-criminals, but this might be starting to change. It all started in late 2021, when Russia banned Tor services from the country. Many say this is when Russia started taking a different approach to cyber-criminals. Shortly after that, Russia started orchestrating operations against infamous hacking groups.
REvil is one of the first groups targeted by the Russian government. REvil first came to light years ago after developing the infamous GandCrab malware. Years later, the group changed stance, attacking US companies instead of developing malware. In 2020, REvil was called the most dangerous hacking group in existence.
In January, members of the REvil group were raided by Russian FSB officers. They also seized a lot of luxury property and millions of dollars. This was one of the first, major, Russian cyber-crime bust. Later in the same month, Russian authorities arrested another important cyber-criminal. This time it was the mastermind of the Infraud organization.
The Latest Operation
Russia has completed another anti dark-net operation which resulted in the take-down of 4 carding websites. The 4 sites, specialized in selling stolen credit cards, were really important to the carding community. The 4 sites were Sky-Fraud, Ferum Shop, UAS and Trump’s Dumps.
According to Russian reports, the operation was headed by a special department in the Ministry of internal affairs. Taking a different approach, a banner warning users was added to the landing pages of the sites. The banner says "“theft of funds from bank cards is illegal". The banner also tries to scare visitors with the warning “Which one of you is next?”. The report also states that 6 Russian citizens were arrested and charged in relation to the case.
Russia was a known haven for cyber-criminals but it seems like things are starting to change. It is unclear what Russia's motivation is behind the crackdown, but what we know is that the crackdown is real. It is the first time in Russian history that cyber-criminals are targeted to this extent.