Blockchain & Cryptocurrency , Cybercrime , Encryption & Key Management

Police Battle Criminal Abuse of Cryptocurrency, Encryption

Europol's Philipp Amann Describes Latest Cybercrime Trends Across EU and Beyond
Philipp Amann, head of strategy, Europol's European Cybercrime Centre

"Cybercrime is an evolution, not a revolution," says Philipp Amann, the head of strategy at the European Cybercrime Center, aka EC3, which is part of the EU's law enforcement intelligence agency, Europol.

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Exactly how cybercrime has been evolving - and what police and policymakers are doing to better combat the latest changes - is the focus of Europol's latest Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment. The annual report distills the latest insights from Europol's work with law enforcement agencies in Europe and elsewhere that are on the front lines of attempting to track and disrupt cyber-enabled crime, frequently across international borders.

Amann says today's chief threat remains ransomware. He notes that ransomware-wielding gangs have been a fixture of the COVID-19 pandemic because they have been targeting healthcare organizations providing critical care and services.

"From a criminal business perspective, it is a very lucrative business, unfortunately, with a lot of victims," he says. Ransomware also has the potential for bringing "not just economic damages but also, if you think about smart cities or critical infrastructure, it really can have a huge impact."

In this video interview with Information Security Media Group, Amann also discusses:

  • The latest ransomware trends;
  • How data breaches and extortion have changed in the era of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation;
  • Cross-cutting factors, including criminal abuse of cryptocurrency, encryption and artificial intelligence, and ongoing social engineering attacks.

At EC3, Amann is responsible for the delivery of a number of strategic, situational and tactical products, including EC3's flagship annual strategic product - the IOCTA report - which he has overseen since it was launched in 2014.


About the Author

Mathew J. Schwartz

Mathew J. Schwartz

Executive Editor, DataBreachToday & Europe

Schwartz is an award-winning journalist with two decades of experience in magazines, newspapers and electronic media. He has covered the information security and privacy sector throughout his career. Before joining Information Security Media Group in 2014, where he now serves as the executive editor, DataBreachToday and for European news coverage, Schwartz was the information security beat reporter for InformationWeek and a frequent contributor to DarkReading, among other publications. He lives in Scotland.




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