Russian hackers pose an increasing threat

Thursday, 12 August 2004, 8:39 AM EST

At the end of last month, police arrested members of an online extortion ring that cost British companies up to $110 million.

Russia, with its highly educated workforce and inefficient police force, has become infamous for computer piracy and crime.

"People used to be scared of the Russian mafia. Now they are scared of Russian hackers," police Lieutenant-general Boris Miroshnikov told President Vladimir Putin last Wednesday, according to Itar-Tass news agency.

Last month, British police announced a joint operation had smashed a small group of Russian hackers who had extorted money from British banks and betting firms. But Russian police said this particular racket was just the tip of the iceberg.

At Stuff.co.nz

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