"Everyone knows that Russians are the best mathematicians in the world," said lieutenant general Boris Miroshnikov of Department K (The Russian police's cybercrime division). "Our software writers are the best in the world and that is why our hackers are the best in the world."
He told delegates that teenage hackers realised they were very good and fine-tuned techniques to the point they could make money from hacking.
"It used to be the case where naughty boys just played around," he said. "But now they've grown up. They realise if you are clever at something then you should use it to earn a living. They are hacking to get rich and uniting over computer networks."
Miroshnikov urged delegates to push for international laws that would make it easier to extradite suspects in cybercrime cases.
As reported in SC Magazine yesterday a new survey from the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit found £2.45bn was lost to computer crime. Miroshnikov said it was only over the past few months that law enforcement agencies had begun to make an impact on crime.
"It is only this year that we have started to hold back the growth. That is because we have worked so very hard," he added.