Data Breaches Surge in Russia in 2019: InfoWatch

The number of records (personal and payment data) that was illegally accessed by computer hackers in Russia in 2019 has grown sixfold and reached nearly 170 million records, experts at the Russian information security company InfoWatch told Izvestia

Globally, hackers have gained access to more than 14 billion pieces of data around the world this year – double what was seen in 2018, the company said.

Analysts believe that two-thirds of leaks in 2018 were deliberate and the share of these crimes in Russia is 40%.

InfoWatch experts predict that the trend towards rising data hacks will continue in 2020, with hackers stepping up their efforts to steal state secrets and valuable commercial data. 

Data breaches in Russia’s banking sector account for 1 million or less than 1% out of the total number. According to Izvestia, this confirms that Russian banks are capable of guaranteeing a high level of information security.

In 2018, nearly half of the data leaks were blamed on staff and some 40% were caused by hackers and other malefactors. However, this year these breaches were mostly the work of hackers. In Russia, the share of hacker crimes is less than 20%, while the staff was responsible for more than 70% of data leaks. That said, a significant rise in leaks of email data is among the notable changes. This is mainly attributed to the growing popularity of phishing attacks on companies.

“I think in the future perpetrators will again be widely using email phishing,” said Andrei Arsentyev, head of Analytics and Special Projects at InfoWatch. “This is a stable trend. They will continue hunting for vital information and try to transfer corporate money to their accounts through fraudulent schemes,” he added.