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Cybercriminals Steal $21M from Russian Banks in 12 Months

Cybercriminals have stolen 1.37 billion rubles ($22 million) from Russian banks since last May, Russia's Central Bank announced Tuesday.

The figures come from a report marking the first-year anniversary of the Central Bank's cyber-space monitoring service FinCERT, created specifically to prevent the spread of cybercrime.

FinCERT recorded 20 major cyber attacks on Russian banks from May 2015 to June 2016, with criminals attempting to steal a total of 2.87 billion rubles ($45 million.)

Phishing websites and fake SMS and email messages claiming to be from FinCERT formed the basis of many of the attacks, along with ATM theft.

Roughly 100 million rubles ($1.5 million) has been stolen through ATMs and point-of-sale terminals since November 2015, using such as card reading devices at payment points in restaurants and stores.

FinCERT representatives warned holders of the national Mir payment card last month that the cards may be vulnerable to cyber attacks. The card was introduced to cut Russia's reliance on foreign firms like Visa and MasterCard.

The Central Bank and Ministry of Finance have also proposed changes in federal laws which would allow them greater powers to combat individual cases of cybercrime, according to the report.

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