Skip to content

Williams Talks to BBC Newshour About Russian Cybercriminals

November 18, 2021


Michael John Williams

Michael J. Williams

Many of the people on the FBI's cyber most wanted list are Russian. While some allegedly work for the government earning a normal salary, others are accused of making a fortune from ransomware attacks and online theft. If they left Russia they'd be arrested—but at home they appear to be given free rein. This has a damaging impact on countries and states around the world.

"It undermines sovereignty, it makes governments look incompetent, it causes billions of dollars in damages and ransom, and it can also endanger lives," says Michael John Williams, associate professor of public administration and international affairs. "And what the Russian government benefits from, essentially, is sowing discord in western countries in Europe and the United States, Canada and elsewhere, while also fostering this capacity so that if they wanted to harness it for offensive state operations they could," he says.

Listen to the full BBC Newshour interview, "Cybersecurity: wanted criminals living freely in Russia," beginning at 7:56.

Communications and Media Relations Office
200 Eggers Hall