Infoforum China 2017

Chief editor - Vladimir Krylov, PhD
Deputy chief editor - Michael Nikulichev, PhD

Several times each month we read about new cybercrimes. Take for example a recent major scandal with stealing personal data. It turns out that back in 2016 the USA company Uber that created a mobile application for calling a taxi, was attacked by hackers. As a result, hackers accessed to names, electronic addresses and phone numbers of more than 50 million passengers and drivers.

The Uber management fearing for the reputational loss paid the hackers 100 000 dollars to keep quiet. And for more than a year this remained a closely guarded secret. Quite by chance the information was leaked to the press. The situation with Uber is a typical example of what is happening in the world of cyber racket that has gone global.

Russia is gradually entering the digital economy. In fact, Russia holds the first place in the number of Internet users in Europe and the sixth place – in the world. More than half of those have smartphones and tablets at their disposal. And these devices store half of our lives: contacts, addresses, bank data etc.

The authorities are worried. In 2017 the number of cyber attacks has dramatically increased and cyber crime is currently expanding into new areas of activity. Cyber criminals are constantly improving their tools of trade – software for entering, stealing and covering the tracks. As a result, there are more and more cases which are difficult to identify and qualify as cyberattacks.

The most devastating were the malware attacks called WannaCry and Petya/NotPetya. In May 2017 WannaCry infected hundreds of thousands of computers in 150 countries. On the 27th June 2017, Petya attacked computer systems all around the world. Russia was also badly hit. Petya blocked all data and demanded 300 bitcoins to release it.

According to the specialized research organizations, financial losses from cyber crimes in UK and some EU countries exceeded that of traditional crimes. In Russia the number of cyber crimes between 2013 and 2017 grew by six times.

On this background, in November 2017, the International Conference “Trust and Safety in Digital Society” (Infoforum China 2017) was conducted in the south of China. Both Russia and China pay special attention to cyber safety. Both countries agree that it is impossible to combat cybercrime alone.

The Conference was held under the auspices of the Security Committee of the Russian State Parliament (Duma), Russian Security Council, Russian Ministry of Foreign Relations, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Communications and other influential government agencies. In China the Conference was supported by the CyberSecurity Association of China, some leading IT companies and Universities.

The Shanghai Group provided international support to the Chinese Infoforum. The participants were invited to visit three largest technological and economical centers of South China – the cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

Among the main topics of the Conferences were:

  • Digital economy: International experience, potential for China and Russia;
  • Smart city (Region): Safe informational infrastructure of modern cities;
  • Digital government: From electronic services to big data;
  • Information technologies and the problems of international terrorism.

Every Conference means a lot of discussions and words. But in this case discussions are immediately converted in new export opportunities for Russian and Chinese developers in the area of informational security. The Infoforum has been developing cooperation with China for 5 years. One of the first international Conferences within the Infoforum framework was held in 2012 in Hong Kong, later – in Shanghai and Beijing.

Digital economy is a concept that is very popular in modern China. In particular, this is due to the Program adopted in 2013 by the Chinese Leadership called the Economic Silk Road. According to this doctrine the technological isolation, fragmentation and closeness must gradually disappear. The countries must develop dialogue rather than self-centered stance, partnership instead of competition.

It is on such platforms as Infoforum that new concepts are born capable to unite countries within Eurasian space, develop commerce and trade, transport infrastructure, attract investments and revitalize money flows. And the expected result is the greater informational security and more and more rare occurrence of cyberattacks.