Russian-speaking hackers from countries in the former Soviet Union have raked in $2.5 billion since 2013, mostly through financial fraud via mobile devices, according to a report by Russian cyber-security analytics firm Group-IV on Wednesday.
According to Group-IV, groups based in the CIS in 2011 and 2012 earned around $2 billion through various types of internet scams and outright hacks.
The news comes a day after Dallas-based cyber-security firm iSIGHT Partners announced that a massive cyber-espionage campaign has been waged against NATO and several Western governments involved in the Ukraine crisis via a previously unknown hole in Microsoft Windows operating systems.
In addition, iSIGHT said it was tracking several highly capable hacking groups in Russia, adding to the increasing list of cyber-security threats emanating from the region.
Last year, hackers from Eastern Europe breached the defenses of U.S. retailer Target, stealing credit card information from almost 110 million customers.
In August, a Russian crime organization was discovered to have collected a massive amount of stolen online information, including around 1.2 billion user names and passwords and over 500 million e-mail addresses.