Digital ruble could still be vulnerable to fraud, Russian banks warn

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The Russian central bank’s digital currency, or CBDC, could contain a number of cybersecurity and fraud risks, according to several local financial institutions.

The Association of Russian Banks, or ARB, released its official comments on the Russian digital ruble project on January 13.

The study focused on 17 ABR credit institutions in Russia representing 58% of the total assets of the national banking system. According to the report, the majority of ARB members believe the risks associated with the digital ruble are similar to those of cashless transactions fueled by bank accounts and cards, as well as cryptocurrencies.

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The ARB specifically outlined cybersecurity risks, warning that online settlements are often vulnerable to attacks such as unauthorized access to customer accounts as well as customer data and operations. There are risks of identity theft or digital ruble theft through personal account hacking or misidentification, the association noted.

According to the ARB, these cybersecurity risks are associated with all the digital ruble models offered so far by the Bank of Russia.

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The association also highlighted some risks associated with implementing a digital ruble offline, including risks associated with the inability of regulators to trace fraudulent transactions. “Offline payments greatly reduce the possibility of detecting and preventing fraudulent payments, and this digital ruble model would be particularly dangerous,” the ABR wrote.

The Bank of Russia released its first consultation paper on the development of a digital Russian ruble on October 13, 2020. The bank said users will be able to access the digital ruble on their e-wallets and mobile devices, both online and offline. line. .

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Shortly after the Bank of Russia presented its digital ruble plans, a senior presidential administration official said that Russia did not need to rush. Dmitry Peskov, a special representative of the President of the Russian Federation on digital and technological development, said the risks of a central bank digital currency are so great that the country needs time to consider the matter.