What do Russian hackers desire more: Money or political influence?

Russian hacking groups are slowly but surely growing in number. But what are their members' goals?

Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab, an internet security company, put the number of Russian hackers specializing in fiscal-related cyber crimes at more than 1,000. According to Kaspersky Lab's research, Russian-speaking hackers stole $790 million from organizations around the world between 2012 and 2015.

And this type of crime is only on the rise. "The number of financial cybercriminals is growing as the use of online banking rises," said Yury Namestnikov, head of Kaspersky Lab's research and analysis department, according to SecurityWeek.com.

Mr. Namestnikov attributed the high number of Russian hackers to Russia's schooling system. "We have good mathematics schools and Russians know how to code properly," he said. "What is special about the Russian hackers is that they have been active for so long."

Their prevalence can be seen in various industries, from healthcare to social networking to politics. But Russian cybersecurity experts say hackers aren't concerned with political influence — they want money.

"Ninety-nine percent of internet pirates are looking to steal money," said Ilya Sachkov, founder of Moscow-based Group-IB, an internet security firm. "There are no patriotic hackers."

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