Europol reports relentless cybercrime growth in EU

Added On September 29, 2016

 Europol reported an expanding growth of cybercrime in the European Union (EU) on Wednesday, identifying eight main trends.

According to a report released by Europol, the police agency of the EU, the volume, scope and material cost of cybercrime all show an upward trend and have reached very high levels in the EU.

The report said the recording of cybercrime offences may have surpassed those associated with traditional crimes in some EU countries.

An expansion both in the number of cybercriminal actors and opportunities to engage in highly profitable illegal activities has partly fuelled this trend, as has the development of new cybercrime tools in areas such as ATM fraud and mobile malware, according to the report.

However, businesses and individuals' poor digital security standards and practice are reported to be the major reasons that lead to the problem.

The European police found eight cybercrime trends from the 2016 cybercrime cases.

Specifically, the digital underground is underpinned by a growing crime-as-a-service model. Police said terrorist actors clearly have the potential to access this sector in the future.

"Ransom-ware and banking trojans remain the top malware threats, a trend unlikely to change for the foreseeable future," said the report.

Data remains a key commodity for cyber-criminals. It is procured for immediate financial gain in many cases but, increasingly, also acquired to commit more complex fraud, encrypted for ransom, or used directly for extortion.

Payment fraud, online child sexual abuse, abuse of the dark-net and virtual currencies are also included.

The publication of the report is the starting point of Europol's engagement in the European Cyber Security Month (ECSM).

The ECSM is the EUs annual advocacy campaign that takes place in October and aims to raise awareness of cyber security threats, promote cyber security among citizens and provide up-to-date security information, through education and sharing of best practices.