Maxim Ali commented on the growth of digital signature fraud for DP

Maksim Ali Senior Associate

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, in 2019 the number of crimes with the use of IT-technologies was about half of all registered in the country offences.  Most often such crimes are committed with the illegal registration and use of electronic signatures. Attackers use several basic methods: from direct registration of the digital signature on another person to hacking software. For example, criminals can not only execute microloans with high rates on the victim, but also by means of fake electronic signature to change the general director of the company and to seize business.

On request of the Delovoy Peterburg newspaper Maxim Ali, Head of IP/IT practice at Maxima Legal assessed the statistics of such crimes and the established court practice. As the expert noted, over the past couple of years, these crimes have formed a stable trend: “If we look at the statistics of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for 2020, in the first half of the year there is an almost doubling of crimes in the Internet and computer information. And St Petersburg has the highest growth rate of crimes – 623%”.

In Maxim Ali`s opinion, despite these trends, the courts tend to believe the reliability of digital signatures: “Adequate evidence of illegal access to the electronic signature key is rarely presented to courts. And it will be even more difficult to prove in a court that the entrepreneur has taken the necessary measures to protect the confidentiality of the signature”, the expert said. Maxim explained this approach by the fact that rejection of a digital signature without solid evidence can destroy the environment of digital trust and demotivate business to conduct electronic document circulation.

To read the full article (in Russian), please see the Delovoy Peterburg website >>>