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Expert opinion: how the digital currency of the Bank of Russia will change the future of the country

Announcing the possible appearance of the digital ruble, the Russian Central Bank joined dozens of world Central banks that have begun research and experiments in the field of creating national digital currencies.

Yevgeny Marchenko, Director of E. M. FINANCE, was one of the first to share his opinion on the issue. The expert is sure that the introduction of the digital ruble is necessary to increase the convenience of payments for citizens.

Also, among other advantages for citizens and banks, the introduction of the electronic ruble will allow the Bank of Russia to better regulate the country's economy.

The official representative of the Garantex cryptocurrency exchange, Tatyana Maksimenko, noted that it will be increasingly difficult to conduct gray and black schemes since cash flows will be under control — both foreign and domestic.

According to independent expert Leonid Khazanov, the digital ruble is primarily beneficial to the Bank of Russia and the Federal Tax Service. According to him, it will be possible to more effectively control the movement of cash flows in the country and it will be easy to identify any user who has an electronic wallet, which means complete transparency of all transactions. And no one can create several accounts or disguise themselves in any way, each legal entity and individual can only have one e-wallet.

Experiments by Central banks in a number of countries with the national digital currency reveal unsolved problems: for example, the inability to control cross-border movements or the potential use of anonymizers that make it difficult to track payments. The fate of digital currencies, including the ruble, depends on whether regulators will be able to close these gaps.

The Central Bank of Russia considers the introduction of the digital ruble as a new form of money

The Bank of Russia announced that it is studying the problem of issuing a digital ruble. The initiative has been discussed for several years, and there has always been a lot of controversy around it

The Central Bank is considering the possibility of issuing a digital ruble in Russia in order to increase the competitiveness of the domestic economy. On October 13, the regulator presented a report according to which the so-called digital ruble will become an additional form of money along with cash and non-cash.

It is expected that such a payment system will appear in 2021.

The digital ruble can be used for online payments, as well as in offline mode, without access to the Internet and mobile communications. The Central Bank indicated that the digital ruble will increase the stability of the Russian payment system,  but additional infrastructure will be needed for its turnover.

According to the regulator, the digital ruble can make payments faster, easier and safer. At the same time, its use will reduce the cost of payment services, money transfers, and increase competition among financial organizations.

While cash has a unique number, and non-cash money exists in the form of records on accounts, the digital ruble will receive a unique digital code that will move from one user to another when paying.

The Central Bank will become the Issuer of the digital ruble. The digital ruble will be stored in a special electronic wallet. The regulator emphasizes that its digital currency is an equivalent form of national currency. All three forms of the ruble will be equal and equivalent to each other.

This currency will be introduced into circulation gradually. As the head of the State Duma Committee on the financial market Anatoly Aksakov noted, the law on digital financial assets was adopted in July. The document will come into force on January 1, 2021.

Russian authorities arrested cyber criminals who sold billion counterfeit rubles on the dark web


Employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Nizhny Novgorod stopped the activities of a group engaged in the production of counterfeit money. Fakes in denominations of 5000, 2000 and 1000 were of such high quality that not every detector in stores could detect them.

High-quality counterfeit money was made in Nizhny Novgorod, from where it was delivered to almost all regions of Russia through the Hydra Internet resource. The criminal organization included several dozen people, and none of them personally knew each other.

Last year, Tatarstan opened the first criminal case under the article Production, storage, transportation or sale of counterfeit money or securities. The first counterfeit bills were found in the region. Then fake money began to appear in many regions of Russia.

For conspiracy, the attackers communicated exclusively through the periodically blocked by Roskomnadzor mirrors of the Internet resource Hydra. According to police officers, the accomplices knew each other only by nicknames on the Internet. The distribution of fakes was also carried out in a non-contact manner using special hiding places.

Wholesale lots from 500 thousand rubles ($6,750) went for 10-15% of the face value. But the greatest demand in the regions were small parties from 10 thousand to 150 thousand rubles ($135 - $2,000) counterfeiters sold for 30% of the nominal value.

When a buyer made a payment on Hydra using cryptocurrency, a shipment of fake money was sent from Moscow using fake passports through a transport company to accomplices. They left fake money in secret places, and then passed the coordinates to customers.

The identity of the organizers and producers of counterfeit money could be established only in the spring of this year. They were three residents of Nizhny Novgorod region Oleg Efimov, Ivan Averof and Andrey Skvortsov. Two sets of printing equipment for the production of counterfeit money of very high quality, color laser printers, laptops, a laminator, mock-ups of banknotes, threads for gluing into banknotes and blanks of emblem images were seized from the detainees.

It was established that the criminal group existed for about a year and printed and put into circulation about one billion rubles ($13,5 million).

The Central Bank of Russia warned about the new scheme of fraud "taxi from the Bank"


Fraudsters have found a new way to withdraw money from Russians. Social engineering is also in progress: people are offered a new service from banks "taxi to ATM", and on the way, they are convinced to transfer money to a third-party account.

Victims of the new scheme are those who do not use online banking, in particular, the elderly. Attackers force them to transfer money through an ATM, for which they offer to use the "taxi from the Bank" service for free.

This information is confirmed not only in banks but also in the Central Bank. Several people have already become victims of such a fraud, all of them tell about the same story: criminals call from the number "8 800" and report that someone is trying to withdraw funds from the client's card. If the potential victim does not have an Internet Bank, the person was offered a special taxi to the ATM.

"Allegedly, it will be possible to transfer funds to a secure account from ATM. Attackers order a regular taxi for the victim, and when a person is at the ATM, he makes a dictation operation to transfer money to the attacker's account," said Alexey Golenishchev, Director of monitoring operations and disputes at Alfa-Bank.

The Central Bank warned that customers are never asked to make transactions through ATMs when a suspicious operation is suspected. Scammers often offer to transfer money through an ATM, and "taxi from the Bank" is one of the varieties of this scheme.

Sberbank confirms this scenario and recognizes that the scheme is becoming more popular. The victims are lonely people or elderly people who are easily to trick, and they do not have the opportunity to consult with someone. Scammers do not give time to think and convince a person to act quickly.

Usually, the damage from such fraudulent actions is about 15 thousand rubles ($220).
Previously, fraudsters began to practice another way of cheating. A man finds a forgotten card at an ATM, picks it up and then the owner of the card appears. Of course, the owner reports that money has disappeared from his card.

The Central Bank of Russia will fine banks for weak cyber defense


On September 12, 2019, it became known that the Central Bank has a new punishment for banks for poor cyber defense.  By the end of the year, the Central Bank will launch a new feature for credit institutions, it will be the risk profile on the level of information security.

This indicator, according to Artem Sychev, the first Deputy Director of the Information Security Department of the Bank of Russia, will show the likelihood of problems for the Bank due to non-compliance with cybersecurity standards.

The risk profile will be formed on the basis of four characteristics, including the share of unauthorised card transactions and the bank's readiness to repel an attack. In addition, the risk profile will be taken into account in assessing the economic situation of the bank along with the amount of capital, profitability, liquidity, quality of management, etc.

Depending on the risk profile on the level of cyber security, the Central Bank will give recommendations to banks.

The calculation of the risk profile will allow us to evaluate how the bank’s management responds to emerging cyber threats, the Central Bank added.

A financial institution that receives a low-risk profile will have consequences ranging from enhanced supervision to penalties. Moreover, this will affect the loan terms at the interbank market.

Sychev stressed that the Bank of Russia sees a connection between the way the Bank relates to information security issues and its financial stability.

Nobody before in the Russian Federation or in other countries has determined such indicators that help the regulator (the Central Bank) to form an opinion about the situation, whether it achieves the goals of the regulation or not from the point of view of information security,” Sychev explained.

It is worth noting that on September 12, the Bank of Russia recorded a “rather serious” cyber attack on Russian banks from Brazil, said Artem Sychev.

According to him, it was a BIN-attack, in which bank card numbers are generated using a special program.

Sychev noted that the direct interaction of each of the attacked banks separately with the representative of Brazil did not give results. The attacks stopped only after the interaction of the Central Bank with the Brazilian regulator.

Security forces are frequent victims of fraudulent lotteries, says Central Bank of Russia


In the past 1.5 year, financial fraudsters switched from the elderly to the economically active population. The Central Bank of Russia reported that most of the victims are middle-aged men with experience in the power structures. This was announced at the conference on information security of the financial sector by Artem Sychev, the first deputy director of the Information Security Department of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation.

Sychev explained that he is talking about participation in a fictitious lottery. Most often its victims are people over the age of 50 years or middle-aged men.

"This trick is very simple: participate in the lottery — get a prize. You will not believe it, but men, especially those who somehow related to power structures, become victims much more often than anyone else."

According to Natalia Ratinova, the Candidate of Psychological Sciences, the leading researcher of the University of Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation, an excessive share of self-confidence can fail people in uniform. A false sense of self-protection plays a cruel joke, because for scammers everyone is equal.

According to Sychev, now the target category of fraudsters is citizens aged 32 to 48 years. Only an economically active citizen can have a large amount on the card, which is important for criminals. Elderly people usually keep funds on deposits, leaving a small amount on the card, which is not interesting to fraudsters.

According to him, women of economically active age, 65%, also often become victims. At the time the scammers call, they are usually "busy with business."

Earlier it was reported that a new type of fraud is gaining momentum on the Web. Internet users are encouraged to participate in a "win-win lottery" or survey with guaranteed rewards. Users need to pay a commission and enter credit card information to participate. According to intelligent sources, attackers use a server simulating the site of one of the mobile operators to withdraw funds.

According to media reports, the turnover of the fraudulent scheme could amount to hundreds of millions of rubles. Now it’s becoming more difficult to investigate such crimes, because attackers do not just call from fake numbers, but use the bank’s official phone number.

Image credit: rbc.ru