Monthly selection of cyber news


Monthly selection of cyber news

August 2020, issue 5

Kazakhstan News

August 07

Kazakhstan is ahead of Kyrgyzstan and Armenia in speed of fixed Internet  

In July 2020, 17.5 million subscribers with Internet access were recorded in Kazakhstan. 15 million are mobile subscribers with Internet access, which is 2.3% more than last year. The number of fixed-line Internet subscribers was 2.6 million (2.2% more than last year), of which 2.5 million have high-speed broadband access (also plus 2.2% year-on-year). In terms of the speed of the fixed Internet, Kazakhstan is ahead of Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, but inferior to Russia and Belarus. As for the mobile Internet, Kazakhstan's indicators are better than those of Kyrgyzstan and Belarus, but worse than those of Russia.

August 11

MIIR spoke about digitalization of ship systems

The Day of Digitalization of the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development was held in Nur-Sultan. During the meeting, the following projects were presented: "Monitoring of ship systems"; "Complex of dredging works"; "Navigational signs". The event was held in an online format with the participation of Vice Minister Dinara Shcheglova, as well as representatives of Zerde Holding JSC and Astana Hub. Its goal is to organize a dialogue on the development of quality projects and proposals.

August 12

Two new state portals launched in Kazakhstan

The Ministry of Information and Social Development has launched two new portals - the Unified Portal of State Programs and the Portal of State Media. The Single Portal of State Programs contains all the information about the progress and stages of state programs, as well as those responsible for their implementation.

August 13

Failure occurred in the train ticket sales system in Kazakhstan

Due to technical problems, the ticket sales system of JSC "Passenger Transportation" is temporarily out of order. Registration of travel documents (tickets) on the website and other online resources is temporarily unavailable

 Zerde holding is headed by "white hacker"

 The government appointed Arman Abdrasilov, co-founder of the Center for Analysis and Investigation of Cyber Attacks, Chairman of the Board of Zerde Holding JSC. Until then, the holding was headed by Alexei Anisimov, who resigned from his post.

August 17

Six regions of the country switched to "E-criminal case"

Given the ongoing digitalization, the Anti-Corruption Service pays special attention to the conduct of criminal proceedings in electronic format. In addition, work is being accelerated to fully equip workplaces for conducting pre-trial investigations in electronic format and ensuring the security of the processed data. The results were reported in the press service of the department. At present, six regions have switched to an electronic format for conducting a criminal case: Akmola, Zhambyl, Atyrau, West Kazakhstan, Pavlodar regions and Almaty.

August 18

Restoration of work after quarantine is possible only after online registration

As the epidemiological situation stabilized, the government approved a plan to gradually phase out quarantine measures, according to which restrictions on a number of businesses, including shopping centers, catering facilities, car dealerships, children's educational institutions, etc. were lifted from August 17. However, in accordance with the decision of the chief sanitary doctorof the Kazakhstan  No. 47 of August 14, 2020, in order to obtain permission, all the business entities must register on Infokazakhstan.kzportal using electronic digital signature (EDS).

August 19

The largest technopark in Central Asia invites startups and IT companies from the CIS

 The Astana Hub International Technopark of IT Startups opens up new prospects for the development of startups and IT companies in the CIS. Technopark invites technology companies from the CIS to join a community of more than 500 residents and get access to venture capital investments and educational programs.

August 20

MES: each school chooses its own online platform for distance learning

Before the start of the new school year, principals explained to teachers what sanitary and epidemiological measures were taken, and on what platforms distance education will be organized. In addition, the principals explained what changes have been made to the education system. The 2020-2021 school year will start in a distance learning mode, but parents will be able to enroll their children in duty classes if they study in grades 1-4. There should be no more than 15 students in each class.

August 26

Card data stolen from Kazakhstanis buying air tickets

The KZ-CERT Computer Incident Response Service received an appeal from Group-IB about 26 fraudulent Internet resources for buying air tickets online. KZ-CERT experts identified two fraudulent schemes in Kazakhstan. Internet resources are classified as “Phishing on the Internet”. Users were encouraged to purchase tickets at a bargain price. After choosing a ticket and a form of payment, the user was asked to enter the bank card details, and after the user agreed to pay, the payment card details were transferred to the attackers, which the user did not even know about.

What equipment is purchased to provide the population of Kazakhstan with the Internet

 Vitaly Yaroshenko, the chairman of the telecommunications committee of this department, spoke about this during an online press conference at the Central Communications Service under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan: “Our ministry is now purchasing the necessary radio monitoring equipment. It is far from a secret that all technologies are present in the capital, but there are problems in providing quality. To control quality, we need a certain measuring complex. Now we have two cars in our department that can measure the quality of the Internet and four wearable complexes (backpacks). This year we announced the purchase of 6 more cars and 10 such complexes. In addition, a project of feedback from the population is being worked out in order to determine those places where there are problems, but already in rural areas provided with the Internet. "

Caspian news

August 5

Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies to expand broadband Internet coverage

 The Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies and Aztelekom LLC have developed a network infrastructure project to expand the coverage and improve the quality of broadband Internet in the regions using the latest GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network) technology. At the initial stage, infrastructure will be reconstructed in four regions - Ganja, Sumgayit, Absheron and Masalli.

Turkmenistan to involve dozens of national IT companies in digitalization push

 At an online conference organized by Turkmenistan’s Telecom Agency, more than 30 Turkmen IT companies presented job offers and opportunities in the field of high technologies. This dialogue with private companies demonstrated the state's readiness to involve a large number of local contractors to help Turkmenistan digitalize. This cooperation should boost growth of the innovative sector and create new jobs for IT professionals in the country

August 7

Azerbaijan’s Internet users face local threats

According to Kaspersky Lab estimates, in the first six months of 2020, almost 41% of home and 30% of corporate users in Azerbaijan are faced with threats from various portable carriers, for example USB flash drives or memory cards, and not directly from the network. At the same time, 9% of home and 5% of corporate users are exposed to online infection risks.

August 10

An illegal mining farm found in Bishkek free economic zone

An illegal mining farm was discovered in the Bishkek Free Economic Zone, the State Service for Combating Economic Crimes reports. On August 6, on the orders of the investigating judge, officers from the service searched a hangar equipped as a farm to mine digital currency.

LegalAid mobile application has been made available to citizens

The Bar Association of the Republic of Azerbaijan and LEGALAID LLC have jointly created a launched a LegalAid mobile application platform. The mobile application will expand the access of citizens to lawyers and increase access to legal assistance, as a further example of the comprehensive reforms carried out in our country in recent years. At the same time, LegalAid software will be a citizen-centric step to facilitate citizens' access to legal aid services, save their resources and increase the efficiency of legal assistance by lawyers.

August 12

The Central Bank introduces an Instant Payment System in pilot mode

The Instant Payment System (INP), developed  by the Central Bank to promote access to new digital payment technologies as part of the "State Program for the expansion of digital payments in the Republic of Azerbaijan in 2018-2020", was launched in pilot mode.

August 14

The Electronic Security Service warns about dangers of network devices

In recent days, there has been a sharp increase in the number of incidents related to Wi-Fi security in Azerbaijan, mainly due to the seizure of users' network devices (routers and modems) and unwanted renaming of Wi-Fi networks. The incidents are being investigated by the Electronic Security Service under the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies. According to its findings, most attacks were made possible by absence of simple security measures for network devices. Common problems included use of default or weak passwords (admin, password, 12345, etc.) and personal identification information in network names (name, surname, phone number, address, etc.) used on devices, as well as lack of  software updates.

August 15

A news aggregator system launched in Azerbaijan

The main goals of the project were to collect materials produced by  news agencies and portals on one platform, as well as to establish cooperation between media outlets through this system. In this case, news portals will have exchanged their data. One of the advantages of the system is that the sites connected heredo not lose readers, but gain. So, if there is a transition of readers from one site to another, the system redirects the same number of readers to that site.

August 18

Speed of mobile and fixed-line internet continues to rise in Azerbaijan

In July of this year, the average speed of incoming Internet traffic in networks of Azerbaijan’s mobile operators stood at 31.23 Mbit/s,  according to the Ookla Speedtest Global Index. This is an increase of  0.77% from June.

August 23

Production of computer equipment in Azerbaijan increases by 43%

As reported by the State Statistics Committee, in January-July this year, Azerbaijan produced 123.4 million manat worth of goods in the computer, electronic, optical products, and electrical equipment category. According to the report, compared to the same period last year, the production of computer, electronic and optical products increased by 42.8%, and the production of electrical equipment by 5.1%.

August 24

Paper diaries and journals to be abolished in Uzbekistan schools in the new academic year

Starting this school year, paper diaries and journals will be abolished in 1,200 schools in Uzbekistan. Before the start of the 2020-2021 school year, the Ministry of Public Education informed parents of schoolchildren in Tashkent and in all the regions that instead of buying a paper diary, they should register at an electronic diary site

August 25

Mongolia issues payment service licenses to fintech companies

On August 21, the Bank of Mongolia issued payment service licenses to fintech companies that meet the requirements of the Law on the National Payment System. In particular, a license to process mobile bank cards was issued to MOST Fintech LLC, and a license to process payment cards was issued to M Chat LLC.

August 28

The number of e-signature users sharply increases in Azerbaijan

 In July this year, the National Certification Services Center issued 12,681 e-signature certificates, as reported by the Data Computing Center (DCC). This is a 2.5-times increase compared to June.

Russian news

August 4

Russians will be able to enter biometric data via smartphones

 According to Parlamentskaya Gazeta, on April 22 the State Duma and the Federation Council amended the law "On information, information technology and information protection." The law will allow Russians to enter biometric data into the unified biometric system using mobile phones, smartphones, tablets or personal computers. The data will be processed using a special program provided by the operator of the unified biometric system.

August 5

Passwords for 900 VPN servers posted on a Russian hacker forum

An unknown cybercriminal posted usernames, passwords and IP addresses from more than 900 Pulse Secure corporate VPN servers on a Russian-language hacker forum.. All information was in plain text format.

A facial recognition system to be installed in the Moscow metro

Russian telecommunications company Maximatelecom, which is engaged in the creation and commercialization of public wireless networks, has won a tender to equip Moscow Metro cars with a video surveillance system with facial recognition.

Russians warned about malicious clones of food delivery sites

Russians must be careful when ordering food and electronics, Information security experts warn, as many fake websites offering such services appeared since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rospechat seeks to create a service to identify fake news

Rospechat proposes to create an information service based on artificial intelligence that will check news reliability, RBC reports citing  a letter sent by the Deputy Head of Rospechat Ilya Lazarev to the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media.

August 6

Russia is the leader in the number of programs that tracks citizens via their smartphones

 In the first half of 2020, experts found more tracking applications on Russian smartphones than in the first six months of 2019. According to Kaspersky Lab, this figure increased by 28%.

August 7

The US State Department confirms it sent text messages to Russian citizens

RIA Novosti reports that the US State Department was sending SMS abroad, including to Russia, as part of a program to find those interfering in American elections. Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that US authorities are announcing a $ 10 million bounty "for the identification or detection of any person who, acting on the orders or control of foreign governments, interferes with the US elections through certain criminal activities." Later, the State Department clarified that we are talking about cybercriminals. After that, a number of users in Russia began to selectively receive SMS with relevant content.

August 9

Sberbank is testing a system to detect people in public places

Sberbank is testing a system designed to detect people in crowded places or large multi-storey buildings using augmented reality (AR) technology in one of its offices, and plans to launch the system in 2021.

August 10

Google fined 1.5 million rubles in Russia for selective content filtering

Russian officials are still unhappy with the quality of Google's blocking of banned content in search results. A Moscow court has fined the Internet giant 1.5 million rubles. This is the second fine against Google on one occasion. In December 2018, the corporation was fined 500 thousand rubles.

Programmers from St. Petersburg and Kazan win the second stage of the DIGITAL SUPERHERO hackathon series

Programmers from 41 Russian cities spent 7 days solving the problems given by Ak Bars Bank, InnoSTage IT company and the international Kaspersky iHub as part of the "Fintech & Security Superhero" hackathon.

Roskomnadzor proposes increasing fines for leaking personal data of Russians

 The statute of limitations for considering cases related to the illegal use of personal data of Russians, as well as fines for such violations, must be increased, according to Roskomnadzor.. The position of the department was commented on by its current head Andrei Lipov at a meeting with Vladimir Putin. As an example, Lipov cited the largest fine for the illegal use of personal data of citizens - 75 thousand rubles. According to the head of Roskomnadzor, this is a trifle in comparison with the benefits of criminals and damage to citizens.

August 11

Calls from bank fraudsters cost Russians an average of 5,000 rubles

If they fall victim to bank fraudsters, Russians lose an average of five thousand rubles. This is the given in a Kaspersky Lab's survey.

Lavrov says the number of German cyber attacks in Russia increased

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he was concerned about the growing number of cyber attacks from Germany. The issue has already been discussed with the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.

QR code scammers are becoming more active in Russia

Recently there has been an increase in new cases of fraud using QR codes in Russia. After attackers deceive a victim into scanning a QR code printed on paper, malware is installed on the phone. Scammers stick QR codes anywhere – on electric poles, benches, elevators, etc. They also print fake flyers on behalf of electronics stores and drop them in mailboxes.

EU cyber sanctions against Russia could be imposed after the summer holidays

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas hopes that EU sanctions for a 2015 hacker attack on the Bundestag will be imposed to Russian citizens after the summer break, when Berlin's proposal goes through all the necessary procedures.

August 14

The Ministry of Defense offers to expand the list of confidential data

The Russian military department has initiated legislation to designate information classified as "official secret" and does not fall under the category of "state or military secret". To this end, it has proposed to amend the law "On Defense".

August 17

Russian darkweb is accused of stealing unemployment benefits from US citizens

IntSights, a cyberthreat analysis company, has spoken out about schemes by Russian-language forum participants on the darkweb to steal identities of US citizens and try to get unemployment benefits on their behalf.

Russia's Federal Tax Service warns of phishing e-mails using their name

 Legal entities and government agencies have become the main targets of the new phishing campaign, during which attackers send emails on behalf of the Federal Tax Service (FTS). The cybercriminal operation was recorded by experts from the CERT-GIB center, owned by Group-IB. The sent letters are disguised as a call to the executive authority. In reality, the attackers are trying to install malware on the victim's computer that allows them to remotely control the infected device.

August 18

Number of phishing copies of Avito and SDEK continues to rise

Cybercriminals continue to target those who love online shopping and delivery. While researchers noted an increase in such phishing attacks this spring, there were even more in the summer. Experts from Kaspersky Lab warned about this growing cyber threat. Back in April, experts recorded dozens of phishing pages, but in July the count went up to hundreds. Attackers disguise their resources as message board sites.

Russians warned about hundreds of fake air ticket websites

Russian users have been warned about fake sources disguised as air ticket sites. Group-IB experts have detected more than 100 such fake online platforms.

August 24

FinCERT warns banks about a new scheme to steal money from accounts

The Central Bank of Russia has warned credit institutions and citizens about a new method to steal money from customers' accounts using the Fast Payment System and a vulnerability in the open API.

Cyber spies attack Russian small and medium-sized businesses

A major new cyber spy campaign is targeting Russian small and medium-sized businesses. The actions of the attackers were closely monitored by Kaspersky Lab specialists. The DeathStalker group, according to experts, has been engaged in cyber espionage since 2012. Among the victims of cybercriminals are small and medium-sized businesses around the world. Not so long ago, DeathStalker began attacking Russian organizations. The group has recently become particularly active, the researchers said.

August 26

An analogue of the Zoom platform can be created in Russia

In Russia, work is underway to create a Zoom-like service based on a cloud platform for secure video conferencing, according to Vladimir Kabanov, CEO of the Avtomatika Concern - the development company, which is part of the state corporation Rostech.

Previous issues

Previous issues | July 2020, issue 4

Monthly selection of cyber news

Previous issues | June 2020, issue 3

Monthly selection of cyber news

Previous issues | May 2020, issue 2

Monthly selection of cyber news


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