According to Nigeria’s Ambassador to Russia, at least 200 Nigerian girls trafficking to Russia each month and forced to work in the prostitution industry.
Source: “Nigeria: Monthly 200 Nigerian Girls Are Trafficked to Russia for Prostitution – Envoy,” All Africa, November 21, 2013.
It was previously reported that up to 42,000 people were dying in Russia each year due to consuming counterfeit alcohol and other illegally made alcohol.
After increase monitoring and enforcement by Russian security services, the number of deaths dropped to around 12,000 in 2010.
In an example of the smuggling, one man stopped in 2013 had 800 bottles of counterfeit vodka and 220 bottles of counterfeit cognac in his truck.
Source: “Russian Tells Cops Huge Moonshine Trove For Personal Use,” RIA Novosti, November 7, 2013.
In 2013, the global costs associated with cybercrimes against consumers was reported to be $113 Billion, according to a report by computer security firm Symantec.
The average cost per victim of cybercrime was $298, a 50 percent increase from the average costs in 2012. Consumers in the United States had the highest costs associated with cybercrime, with $38 Billion, followed by China with $37 Billion.
According to the report, there are 378 million victims of cybercrimes each year. The highest number of cybercrime victims were found in Russia, China and South Africa.
Nearly half of the consumers surveyed in the report do not use security precausions for their mobile devices, such as passwords, security software or file backups.
57 percent of mobile device users (tablets, smartphones) are unaware that security solutions are available for mobile devices.
Source: “2013 Norton Report,” Symantec. October 1, 2013.
The first cases of krokodil was reported in the United States in September 2013. Heath officials in the state of Arizona identified two cases of the drug in September.
The official name of the chemical is desomorphine, and it was first identified in Russia in 2002. The drug is made with a mix of over-the-counter headache pills that is mixed with iodine, gasoline, paint thinner or alcohol. Users in Russia have been using the drug as a cheaper form of heroin, since krokodil costs three times as less.
(Price of heroin around the world.)
The drug eats away at the user’s skin tissue, which causes the skin to run scaly and green like a crocodile, thus creating the nickname. In 2011, Buzzfeed had a post that showed the effects of krokodil on the body. (Warning: Extremely Graphic Photos.)
According to security officials in Russia, the average lifespan of a krokodil user from the time they become addicted to the drug is 1 to 1.5 years. As of 2012, the rate of abuse of the drug is increasing by 50 to 70 percent each year in Russia. The value of the krokodil market in Russia was estimated to be worth $100 Million.
In the United States, the use of heroin has been increasing in recent years. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. the use of heroin in the US increased by 66 percent between 2007 and 2011. With krokodil being a cheaper form of heroin, the risks of the drug spreading throughout the United States is high.
Source: Michael Winter, “Flesh-rotting ‘krokodil’ drug emerges in USA,” USA Today, September 26, 2013.
Internet security threat researchers identified Russian hackers who are offering access to malware-infected computers for rent. According to Webroot, the cost to rent a botnet depends on where the infected computers are located.
The price to rent 1,000 infected computers in the United States costs $180. If the hosts are located in the United Kingdom, the price is $240. France and Russia both costs $200, Canada costs $270, and 1,000 infected computers located around the world costs $35. There is a daily limit of 20,000 hosts.
Source: Dancho Danchev, “Cybercriminals sell access to tens of thousands of malware-infected Russian hosts,” Webroot Threat Blog, September 23, 2013.
According to a cyber security intelligence expert, criminal hackers are offering online courses that teach students how to conduct cyber crime operations on the Internet. The courses offer lessons on fundamentals such as online credit and debit card fraud, staying anonymous online, and how to evade law enforcement. These online programs costs $75. Advance classes such as how to create a botnet, are offered for $50.
Most of the instructors are Russian, and the classes are taught in Russian as well. They are generally advertised in popular hacking forums and networks. Classes are conducted online through Skype.
Source: Jaikumar Vijayan, “Hacking courses offer cybercrooks tips on how to hone skills,” ComputerWorld, September 19, 2013.
Russia’s Counter-Narcotics Agency stated that there are nearly 1,900 organized crime groups and 150 major drug cartels that are trafficking illegal drugs into Russia. These illegal networks operate in Central Asia and use 100,000 drug mules to transport heroin from Afghanistan into Russia.
Security and intelligence services estimate that there are over 2,000 drug processing laboratories in Northern Afghanistan that produced heroin exclusively for the Russian market.
Nearly 1.5 million people in Russia are addicted to heroin, with roughly 30,000 people dying each year from heroin abuse. Nearly 150,000 people are arrested each year for drug offenses.
(Cost of heroin around the world.)
Source: “1,900 Gangs Smuggling Afghan Drugs to Russia – Anti-Narcotics Agency,” RIA Novosti, September 13, 2013.
The Interior Ministry of Russia estimates that nearly $1 Billion worth of cultural artifacts and artwork has been stolen from Russian and smuggled abroad during the past 15 years.
Interpol stated that museums in Russia had the most artwork stolen from their property, ahead of museums in France, Germany and Italy. A government commission found that in 2008 nearly 160,000 artworks were unaccounted for.
Source: Daryana Antipova, “Russia tops European countries in art theft,” Russia Beyond The Headlines, September 14, 2013.
Cyber security researchers estimate that organized criminal gangs in Russia make up to $60 Million a year from selling spam.
The spammers control computers infected with a virus that allows the spambot to send out emails selling Viagra or any type other type of product. Most of the infected computers are located in Brazil, India, and other developing countries where computer users are unable to afford virus protection. Owners of computers that send out spam usually do not know that their computer is sending out the messages.
The impact to businesses from spam is estimated to be around $6 Billion a year, as companies are forced to pay for spam filters and in lost revenue from counterfeit drugs.
Source: Andrew E. Kramer, “Online Attack Leads to Peek Into Spam Den,” New York Times, September 2, 2013.
Officials with the World Wildlife Fund stated that at least 19 Siberian Tigers were killed by poachers between 2012 and the first half of 2013 in Russia.
The body parts of a Siberian tiger can be sold for up to $50,000 on the black market in China.
(More prices of the illegal wildlife trade.)
Source: ”Poachers Kill 19 Russian Tigers in 2012-13 – WWF,” RIA Novosti, July 31, 2013.