CIS single payment area will be based on Russian national card “Mir”; Belarus will charge $100 for e-signature; Ukrainian government was hit by cyber attacks; Uzbekistan is preparing national development strategy for 2017-2021; Russian ‘black market’ for personal data is booming. 

1. Russian national card “Mir” will serve as a basis for introducing the single payment area of CIS. Members of the Eurasian Economic Union, including Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Russia and Tajikistan will accept each other’s national cards and treat them as ‘domestic’, following an example set by the European Union in the past. The single payment area of CIS will rely on cross-system integration of several national bank cards – Mir, Belcart, ArCa, Tengri-cart, and ELCART.

2. Starting on Jan. 1, 2017, the cost of e-signature required to access tax accounting at the website of Social Security Fund of Belarus will rise to $100. Previously, it was free of charge. Elena Zhuger, director of BelAuditAlliance, described new conditions as “overpriced and disproportionate in relation to market situation.”

3. Ukraine’s defence ministry reported on Tuesday that its website was hit by cyber attacks. The purpose of the attack was to prevent it from providing updates on the ongoing conflict in Donbas, ministry spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk said. Ukrainian government has been targeted by hackers since last week when the websites and payment systems of the Ministry of Finance, State Treasury, and Pension Fund went down.

4. Uzbekistan government will prepare and publicly release a Strategy for National Development for 2017-2021 to encourage public discussion. According to the newly elected President, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the strategy will focus on five main areas, such as modernisation of public governance and judicial system, liberalisation of economy, social reforms, and foreign policy. It is highly likely that the first two focus areas will touch upon ICT.

DR comments: The declaratory nature of this document notwithstanding, it should be considered as the first public declaration of the new government’s intentions. Coupled with election promises, such declarations allow the observers to analyze the likely directions taken by Uzbekistan under the new leadership.

5. The ‘black market’ for personal data is booming in Russia with the total cost of databases numbering over 30 billion personal user accounts exceeding 30 million rubles ($490,000). Third of user accounts belong to the clients of commercial banks, and the rest come from spa salons, online stores, mobile operators. In 78% of cases, data leaks are caused by the employees, reported Kommersant newspaper. This type of client bases mostly contain contact information, and can be used for spam or financial scams.

6. In the wake of the newly adopted Russian information security doctrine, DR interviewed Anatoly Streltsov, deputy director of the Information Security Institute at the Moscow State University. As a co-author of the first edition of Russia’s doctrine on information security, Streltsov outlined three main steps necessary for its successful implementation: 1) improvement of the national legislation to enhance stakeholder responsibility and activities aimed at information security, 2) improve the operationalization of state programs aimed at enhancing security of information systems in vital areas, and 3) the development of international cooperation.