EUROPOL, 3 April 2020

Europol Report on Cybercrime & Disinformation amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

On 3 April 2020, Europol published an updated threat assessment of the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the cybercrime landscape.

Cybercriminals have been among the most adept at exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic for the various scams and attacks they carry out. With a record number of potential victims staying at home and using online services across the European Union (EU) during the pandemic, the ways for cybercriminals seeking to exploit emerging opportunities and vulnerabilities have multiplied.

Key Findings

  • Focus:  The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cybercrime has been the most visible and striking compared to other criminal activities.
  • Adaptability:  Criminals active in the domain of cybercrime have been able to adapt quickly and capitalise on the anxieties and fears of their victims.
  • Campaigns:  Phishing and ransomware campaigns are being launched to exploit the current crisis and are expected to continue to increase in scope and scale.
  • Vulnerability:  Activity around the distribution of child sexual exploitation material online appears to be on the increase, based on a number of indicators.
  • Dark Web:  Various platforms such as marketplaces and vendor shops continue to distribute illicit goods and services.
  • Geopolitics:  Both criminal organisations, states and state-backed actors seek to exploit the public health crisis to advance geopolitical interests.

Law Enforcement

Europol is supporting the national law enforcement authorities in the international coordination of cyber-related cases, by connecting the investigations, facilitating information exchange, operational analysis and forensic services.

Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) is specialised in supporting the prevention and investigation of cyber-attacks, child sexual exploitation, payment fraud and the online trade of illegal commodities through the dark web, becoming a cybercriminal information hub and a platform for cooperation with the private sector and the cybersecurity community.

Europol, Report "Catching the virus - cybercrime, disinformation and the COVID-19 pandemic", 3 April 2020

Verlag Dr. Otto Schmidt vom 06.04.2020 11:15

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