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RSN™ Special Report: Europol Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA) 2018

Europol Warns You Could Become A Cybercrime Victim

From ransomware through to cryptocurrency scams, Europol says it wants to stop criminals from making you a victim.

Europol has warned of 15 ways in which people can fall prey to cybercriminals as it launched a report on the dangers of the web.

The report, the fifth annual Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA), is being presented at the Interpol cybercrime conference in Singapore.

Europol IOCTA 2018 Summary

For the fifth year in a row, Europol has produced the Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA). The aim of this Assessment is to provide a comprehensive overview of the current, as well as anticipated future threats and trends of crimes conducted and/or facilitated online. While current events demonstrate how cybercrime continues to evolve, this year’s IOCTA shows us how law enforcement has to battle both innovative as well as persistent forms of cybercrime. Many areas of the report, therefore, build upon previous editions, which emphasizes the longevity of the many facets of cybercrime. It is also a testimony to an established cybercrime business model, where there is no need to change a successful modus operandi. The report also highlights the many challenges associated with the fight against cybercrime, both from a law enforcement and, where applicable, a private sector perspective.

Europol described the report as offering “a unique law enforcement view of the emerging threats and key developments in the field of cybercrime over the last year.”

It added that the assessment “describes anticipated future threats” and “only has one goal in mind – to stop cybercriminals from making you their next victim.”

Crime Priorities

Crime Priority: Cyber-Dependent Crime

Cyber-dependent crime can be defined as any crime that can only be committed using computers, computer networks or other forms of information communication technology (ICT). In essence, without the internet criminals could not commit these crimes. It includes such activity as the creation and spread of malware, hacking to steal sensitive personal or industry data and denial of service attacks to cause financial and/or reputational damage.

Key Findings

  • Ransomware remains the key malware threat in both law enforcement and industry reporting.
  • Cryptomining malware is expected to become a regular, low-risk revenue stream for cybercriminals.
  • The use of exploit kits (EKs) as a means of infection continues to decline, with spam, social engineering and newer methods such as RDP brute-forcing coming to the fore.
  • New legislation relating to data breaches will likely lead to greater reporting of breaches to law enforcement and increasing cases of cyber-extortion.

Crime Priority: Child Sexual Exploitation Online

Online child sexual exploitation (CSE) continues to be the worst aspect of cybercrime. Whereas child sexual abuse existed before the advent of the internet, the online dimension of this crime has enabled offenders to interact with each other online and obtain Child Sexual Exploitation Material (CSEM) in