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SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Special Report: Fighting Cybercriminals In A Connected Future World
Insights From The EuropolEuropol The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, better known under the name Europol, formerly the European Police Office and Europol Drugs Unit, is the law enforcement agency of the European Union (EU) formed in 1998 to handle criminal intelligence and combat serious international organized crime and terrorism through cooperation between competent authorities of EU member states. The Agency has no executive powers, and its officials are not entitled to arrest suspects or act without prior approval from authorities in the member states. Based in The Hague, it comprised 1,065 staff as of 2016. WEBSITE LINK-INTERPOL CybercrimeCybercrime Cybercrime is a crime related to technology, computers, and the Internet. Typical cybercrime are performed by a computer against a computer, or by a hacker using software to attack computers or networks. Conference Examined Latest Cyber Threats, Trends And Strategies At The Hague, Netherlands 2019
A couple of months back, more than 400 experts from law enforcement, the private sector, and academia have gathered this week at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague for what is one of the world’s biggest platforms of exchange on cybercrime.
Under the theme of ‘Law enforcement in a connected future’, the 7th Europol-INTERPOL Cybercrime Conference looked at ways how to effectively combine the expertise, resources, and insights of law enforcement, the private sector, and academia to make the internet a more secure environment, especially in a society, which is becoming increasingly dependent on digital capabilities.
Over the course of three days (9-11 October), 50 experts elaborated on the most pressing cyber threats of today and tomorrow. Key themes included the benefits and challenges of Artificial IntelligenceArtificial intelligence Artificial intelligence (AI) is wide-ranging branch of computer science concerned with building smart machines capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence. Machine learning is a subset of Artificial Intelligence. for police; the potential impacts of 5G technology; cross-border access to electronic evidence; obstacles to international cooperation on cybercrime investigations; the importance of cyber capacity building; cryptocurrency trends and challenges; the use of open-source intelligence and privacy considerations.
This year, speakers included the Executive Assistant Director of the FBIFBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud.’s CriminalCriminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues., Cyber, Response and Services Branch, Ms. Amy S. Hess and the General Manager of Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit, Ms. Amy Hogan-Burney, both of whom delivered keynote speeches on the threats perceived by their respective communities. Another international speaker was Mr Cyrus Roberts VANCE Jr., the incumbent District Attorney of New York County, who spoke on the impact of encryption on criminal investigations.
As highlighted in Europol’s 2019 Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA) presented at this conference, cybercriminals continue to become more audacious, shifting their approach away from scattered to more focused, carefully crafted attacks against larger, more profitable targets with the potential for ominously greater damage and major disruptions.
This year’s conference saw the participation of over 100 organizations and more than 70 different law enforcement agencies engaging in fruitful and solution-oriented discussions on how to tackle the challenges at hand head-on in a collective manner.
Conclusions Emphasized A Need For Even Closer Cooperation In The Areas Of:
- Business Email Compromise (BEC): while BEC is not new, it is evolving, causing increasing economic damage. BEC exploits the way corporations do business, taking advantage of segregated corporate structures, and internal gaps in payment verification processes.
- ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost.: Greater cooperation in transnational cyber-enabled crimesCyber-enabled Crimes A Cyber-enabled crime is one where technology facilitates a criminal to commit a crime against an individual or a business. These are where there is a one to one relationship between the criminal and the victim. Romance scams, email fraud, and many other types of scams are considered cyber-enabled crimes. The technology used can be the Internet, a computer, a phone, or other devices., such as scams.
- Terrorism: continued close examination of the interactions between cybercrime and terrorist organizations.
- Dark webDark Web This is a sub-level of the internet that normal search engines and everyday browsers cannot access. It’s an encrypted network that contains websites – both legal and illegal – that remain hidden from plain sight.: as the dark web evolves, it has become a threat in its own right, and not only as a medium for the sale of illicitillicit Illicit means something that is not legally permitted or authorized under the law; unlicensed; unlawful. It can also mean disapproved of or not permitted for moral or ethical reasons. commodities such as drugs, firearms or compromised data. The impact of law enforcement action in this arena is palpable as the environment remains in a state of flux.
- Research & Development: Technology develops at an ever-increasing pace, creating new challenges and opportunities for law enforcement. Adding to this the data volume challenge, legal challenges and a constantly expanding threat surface, there is a need for research and development to develop solutions addressing the needs of law enforcement in an efficient and agile way.
- Innovation: The incorporation of innovation, as part of an effective crime response, is not exclusively a private sector affair. Europol and INTERPOL already cooperate with industry partners and academia to identify challenges and opportunities for law enforcement arising from new and emerging technologies, such as 5G.
Mr. Steven WILSON, Head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), said: “Three days of conference with partners from law enforcement, industry and academia have shown what we can achieve when we work closely together to tackle the global issue of cybercrime. We must make progress in prevention, legislation, enforcement, and prosecution. All of these elements are necessary in order to disrupt organized crime activity and reduce the online threat to businesses, governments, and, above all, EU citizens. I look forward to building on our trusted relationships to deliver an improved international response to this ever-increasing challenge.”
With cybercriminals constantly evolving and transforming their tactics, INTERPOL’s Director of Cybercrime Craig JONES said the traditional model of policing is ‘being challenged like never before’. “The cybercriminal world is agile and adapting, connecting and cooperating in ways we never imagined even just a few years ago,” said Mr. JONES. “Law enforcement must adapt to this ever-changing criminal environment in order to effectively protect our communities in the cyber domain,” he concluded.
On the occasion of this conference, Europol also launched CRYPTOPOL, Europol’s first-ever cryptocurrency-tracing training software, developed and co-created in close cooperation with CENTRIC (Centre of Excellence in Terrorism, ResilienceResilience Is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. Psychological resilience is the ability to mentally or emotionally cope with a crisis or to return to pre-crisis status quickly. Resilience exists when the person uses "mental processes and behaviors in promoting personal assets and protecting self from the potential negative effects of stressors". In simpler terms, psychological resilience exists in people who develop psychological and behavioral capabilities that allow them to remain calm during crises/chaos and to move on from the incident without long-term negative consequences. In popular accounts, psychological resilience is sometimes likened to a "psychological immune system"., Intelligence and Organised Crime Research). CRYPTOPOL is a simulator of a cryptocurrency investigation with an emphasis on hands-on practice using real-life situations. CRYPTOPOL is accessible to all law enforcement cryptocurrency investigators around the world who can contact Europol to request access to the software for training purposes. As the software contains information about tracing techniques used by law enforcement there is no intention of making it publicly available.
Unfortunately, there was insufficient focus on the impact on individual victims. However, with the presence of SCARS, providing the victims’ perspective, we can expect greater attention in future conferences.
The Europol-INTERPOL Cybercrime Conference is a joint initiative launched in 2013 is held annually, it is hosted in alternate years by Europol and INTERPOL.
Europol Definition of Cybercrime
Technical innovation can be harnessed for social good, but just as readily for nefarious ends. This is truer of cybercrime than of perhaps any other crime area. And cybercriminals are also getting more aggressive. That’s why Europol and its partner organizations are taking the fight to them on all fronts.
According to the most recent Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA) , cybercrime is becoming more aggressive and confrontational. This can be seen across the various forms of cybercrime, including high-tech crimes, data breaches and sexual extortion.
Cybercrime is a growing problem for countries, such as EU Member States, in most of which internet infrastructure is well developed and payment systems are online.
But it is not just financial data, but data more generally, that is a key target for cybercriminals. The number and frequency of data breaches are on the rise, and this, in turn, is leading to more cases of fraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim. and extortion.
The sheer range of opportunities that cybercriminals have sought to exploit is impressive. These crimes include:
- using botnets—networks of devices infected with malwareMalware Short for "malicious software," this term means computer viruses and other types of programs that cybercriminals use to disrupt or access your computer, typically with the aim of gathering sensitive files and accounts. without their users’ knowledge—to transmit viruses that gain illicit remote control of the devices, steal passwords and disable antivirus protection;
- creating “back doors” on compromised devices to allow the theft of money and data, or remote access to the devices to create botnets;
- creating online fora to trade hacking expertise;
- bulletproof hosting and creating counter-anti-virusVirus A computer program that can replicate itself and spread from computer to computer or file to file. It comes to life only when you take a specific action, such as running a particular program. services;
- laundering traditional and virtual currencies;
- committing online fraud, such as through online payment systems, carding and social engineeringSocial Engineering Social engineering is the psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. It is used as a type of confidence trick for the purpose of information gathering, fraud, or system access, it differs from a traditional "con" in that it is often one of many steps in a more complex fraud scheme. It has also been defined as "any act that influences a person to take any action that may or may not be in their best interests.";
- various forms of online child sexual exploitation, including the distribution online of child sex-abuse materials and the live-streaming of child sexual abuse
- the online hosting of operations involving the sale of weapons, false passports, counterfeit and cloned credit cards, and drugs, and hacking services.
Malware, or malicious software, inﬁltrates and gains control over a computer system or a mobile device to steal valuable information or damage data. There are many types of malware, and they can complement each other when performing an attack.
- A botnet (short for robot network) is made up of computers communicating with each other over the internet. A command and control center uses them to send spam, mount distributed denialDenial Denial is a refusal or unwillingness to accept something or to accept reality. Refusal to admit the truth or reality of something, refusal to acknowledge something unpleasant; And as a term of Psychology: denial is a defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality.-of-service (DDoS) attacks (see below) and commit other crimes.
- A rootkit is a collection of programs that enable administrator-level access to a computer or computer network, thus allowing the attacker to gain root or privileged access to the computer and possibly other machines on the same network.
- A wormWorm Like a virus, it can replicate itself and spread — but without any action by you. replicates itself over a computer network and performs malicious actions without guidance.
- A trojanTrojan Software that's hidden within apparently harmless data — or masquerades as a regular program — and when activated, can deliver such blows as corrupting data on your hard drive or sending files and account information to hackers. Unlike viruses and worms, Trojans do not self-replicate and spread to other computers. poses as or is embedded within, a legitimate program, but it is designed for malicious purposes, such as spying, stealing data, deleting ﬁles, expanding a botnet, and performing DDoS attacks.
- A file infector infects executable files (such as .exe) by overwriting them or inserting infected code that disables them.
- A backdoorBackdoor A hidden method for bypassing normal computer authentication or access systems./remote-access trojan (RAT) accesses a computer system or mobile device remotely. It can be installed by another piece of malware. It gives almost total control to the attacker, who can perform a wide range of actions, including:
- monitoring actions
- executing commands
- sending files and documents back to the attacker
- logging keystrokes
- taking screenshots
- RansomwareRansomware Ransomware is a type of malware from cryptovirology that threatens to publish the victim's personal data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid. While some simple ransomware may lock the system so that it is not difficult for a knowledgeable person to reverse, more advanced malware uses a technique called cryptoviral extortion. It encrypts the victim's files, making them inaccessible, and demands a ransom payment to decrypt them. In a properly implemented cryptoviral extortion attack, recovering the files without the decryption key is an intractable problem – and difficult to trace digital currencies such as paysafecard or Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that are used for the ransoms, making tracing and prosecuting the perpetrators difficult. Ransomware attacks are typically carried out using a Trojan virus disguised as a legitimate file that the user is tricked into downloading or opening when it arrives as an email attachment. However, one high-profile example, the WannaCry worm, traveled automatically between computers without user interaction. stops users from accessing their devices and demands that they pay a ransomRansom A ransom is an amount of money or other assets of value that is paid for blackmail, extortion, or under other threats or coercion. The ransom is usually paid in cash or now in cryptocurrency. Online blackmail, sextortion, and ransomware all demand ransoms to avoid negative outcomes. through certain online payment methods to regain access. A variant, police ransomware, uses law enforcement symbols to lend authority to the ransom message.
- ScarewareScareware A type of malware that displays on-screen warnings of nonexistent computer infections or generates constant pop-ups intended to trick you into buying useless or potentially dangerous "protection" software. is a fake anti-virus software that pretends to scan and find malware/security threats on a user’s device so that they will pay to have it removed.
- SpywareSpyware A type of malware installed on computers or cellphones to track your actions and/or collect information without your knowledge. Some spyware can change computer settings for pharming redirection. is installed on a computer without its owner’s knowledge to monitor their activity and transmit the information to a third party
- Adware displays advertising banners or pop-upsPop-ups Pop-up ads (also known as pop-ups) - Unsolicited advertising that appears as a "pop-up" window on a computer screen. Sometimes these can be created to look like a financial institution's request for personal information. that include code to track the user’s behaviorBehavior Behavior / Behavioral Actions Otherwise known as habits, behavior or behavioral actions are strategies to help prevent online exploitation that target behavior, such as social engineering of victims. Changing your behavior is the ONLY effective means to reduce or prevent scams. on the internet
The Response: Pursuing Cybercriminals On All Fronts
With such a range of activities being pursued with such inventiveness, the response of Europol and its partners must itself be comprehensive, dynamic and relentlessly innovative. And it is.
First, there’s the institutional response. In 2013 Europol set up the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) to bolster the response of law enforcement to cybercrime in the EU and help protect European citizens, businesses and governments.
Each year the EC3 issues the aforementioned Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA), which sets priorities for the EMPACT Operational Action Plan in the areas of cybercrime that are the focus for that year.
The EC3 also hosts the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT). Its mission is to drive intelligence-led, coordinated action against key cybercrime threats through cross-border investigations and operations by its partners.
These institutional arrangements have led to notable successes at the operational level, including:
- the coordination of a joint operation, including private-sector partners to target a botnet, Ramnit, that had infected millions of computers around the world;
- coordination with EUROJUST in an operation targeting large-scale malware attacks that originated in Ukraine and that were being investigated by a number of agencies — an operation that led to tens of arrests and continues to supply evidence that supports other cybercrime investigations;
- an operation targeting a major cybercriminal forum engaged in trading hacking expertise, malware and botnets, Zero Day Exploits, access to compromised servers, and matching partners for spam campaigns and malware attacks.
Europol separates cybercrimesCybercrimes Cybercrime is a crime related to technology, computers, and the Internet. Typical cybercrime are performed by a computer against a computer, or by a hacker using software to attack computers or networks. from cyber-enabled crimes – such as scams, extortion, harassment, and cyberbullyingCyberbullying Cyberbullying or cyberharassment is a form of bullying or harassment using electronic means. Cyberbullying and cyber harassment are also known as online bullying. It has become increasingly common, especially among teenagers, as the digital universe has expanded and technology has advanced. Cyberbullying is when someone bullies or harasses others on the internet and other digital spaces, particularly on social media sites. Harmful bullying behavior can include posting rumors, threats, sexual remarks, a victims' personal information (Doxing), or pejorative labels (i.e. hate speech). Bullying or harassment can be identified by repeated behavior and an intent to emotional harm. Victims of cyberbullying may experience lower self-esteem, increased suicidal ideation, and various negative emotional responses, including being scared, frustrated, angry, depressed, or PTSD. and addresses these separately.
However, significant side discussions were held to address cyber-enabled crimes and approaches to victims’ assistance.
SCARS is an affiliate of Europol in its educational initiatives to address cybercrime and cyber-enabled crimeCyber-enabled Crime A Cyber-enabled crime is one where technology facilitates a criminal to commit a crime against an individual or a business. These are where there is a one to one relationship between the criminal and the victim. Romance scams, email fraud, and many other types of scams are considered cyber-enabled crimes. The technology used can be the Internet, a computer, a phone, or other devices. awareness and victims’ assistance and support. SCARS is also an affiliated organization with the Council of Europe on cybercrime initiatives.
EUROPOL is a body of the European Union.
TAGS: SCARS, Important Article, Information About Scams, Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost., Europol, Interpol, Law Enforcement Conference, Cybercriminality, Cybercriminals, Cybercrime,
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