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National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine

HomeNewsOrganization of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine15.02.2023, 11:00

A project to combat cyber fraud in the financial sector has been launched

The National Cybersecurity Coordination Center at the NSDC of Ukraine together with the National Bank of Ukraine launched a project to counter cyber fraud in the financial sector.

Its main goal is to strengthen the protection of citizens against cybercriminals, who significantly intensified their activities during the martial law period in Ukraine. In order to steal funds, criminals conduct phishing campaigns with the aim of extracting data to access bank accounts. The scammers' promises vary depending on current news, especially those related to the provision of state and international financial assistance to citizens, and they also organize fake fundraisers to provide assistance to the Armed Forces.

Its implementation became possible with the assistance of the State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine and the National Center for Operational Management of Telecommunications Networks.

The task of the project is simple - to reduce users' transitions to fraudulent sites by redirecting them to a page with a warning that the site was created by criminals. The results are impressive: about 120,000 unique visits to this page were recorded in the first month alone. In other words, tens of thousands of Ukrainian citizens will be protected every month from falling on the "hook" of cyber fraudsters and the potential possibility of being defrauded.

"One of the key goals of the Cybersecurity Strategy of Ukraine is effective countermeasures against cybercrime. Phishing is one of the most common methods of fraud on the Internet, which is used by cybercriminals to embezzle funds and collect personal data. And with the beginning of full-scale military aggression, it also became one of the directions of the hybrid war of the russian federation against Ukraine. After all, dozens of malicious groups that conduct phishing campaigns against Ukrainian citizens are coordinated by russian criminals, and the fsb covers their actions. As a result, the funds lost by Ukrainians are used to support a terrorist country," said Serhiy Demedyuk, Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.

"Even during the full-scale war in Ukraine, payment fraud did not disappear. On the contrary, in 2022 we observed a significant increase in its manifestations. The most common type was fake social assistance from state or international organizations to Ukrainians affected by the war. In 2022, the NBU detected about 4,500 phishing resources, for comparison, in 2021, this number was an order of magnitude lower. This prompted the National Bank to implement a measure against malicious sites. Its implementation will contribute to the strengthening of cyber protection of the financial system, will make it possible to protect Ukrainians from fraudsters, and in the future - to reduce the number of phishing attacks and, in general, the amount of financial fraud in Ukraine," said Oleksiy Shaban, Deputy Chairman of the National Bank of Ukraine.

Last fall, the NCCC created a working group, which included representatives of state bodies and providers with the largest infrastructure. The financial phishing protection system was successfully tested. The first major provider to actively join the project was the Kyivstar company, which always pays great attention to issues of cyber security and protecting its subscribers from cyber threats.

"Kyivstar systematically supports the state and subscribers, providing communication during the war, investing in the development of the telecom market, joining the digital development of the country, as well as supporting the direction of countering cyber fraud. We understand that one of the components of a strong cyber defense of Ukraine is fruitful interaction between business and the state. Having developed significant expertise in the field of cyber security, the company immediately joined the project of the National Committee of the National Security and National Bank of Ukraine to build a system for limiting malicious domains. Financial fraud is one of the manifestations of hybrid warfare, and by joining forces, we will be able to effectively protect Ukrainians," commented Oleksandr Kogut, director of regulatory support at Kyivstar.

Analysis of the activity of hacker groups engaged in such fraud indicates that they operate not only in Ukraine, but also in EU countries. Therefore, negotiations are currently underway regarding the exchange of information with the relevant authorities from the partner countries, to which a large number of Ukrainians left after the start of the full-scale invasion.