THE HAGUE, The Netherlands – In our increasingly interconnected world, the impacts of cybercrime can be far-reaching, fast moving and devastating to its victims.
To address the challenges for police in preventing and investigating cybercrime globally, the 7th Europol-INTERPOL Cybercrime Conference brought together cyber experts from law enforcement, private industry, international organizations and academia for in-depth discussions on the latest cyber threats, trends and strategies.
Under the theme of ‘Law enforcement in a connected future’, the three-day (9 – 11 October) conference focused on new developments in technology which could be exploited by criminals but also used to the benefit of police.
Key themes included the benefits and challenges 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.
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.
During the opening ceremony, Mr Jones launched INTERPOL’s ‘#BECareful’ global public awareness campaign on business email compromise (BEC) fraud. The campaign, which will run for one month, will inform the public about this growing type of fraud and provide prevention tips for how to stay safe.
INTERPOL also presented the findings of its first cybercrime threat assessment during the conference. The report provides an analysis of the latest cybercrime trends identified in different regions using information provided by member countries, private partners and open source intelligence.
One trend identified is a shift from malware targeting computers to attacks targeting mobile devices, due to the fact that mobile devices are being used more and more frequently as payment platforms.
In response to a rise in cases of cryptojacking – where criminals remotely accesses victims’ system using malware to hijack their computing power to create cryptocurrency – INTERPOL has disseminated more than 170 Cyber Activity Reports providing recommendation for prevention and mitigation.
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,” added Mr Wilson.
The conference, which gathered some 400 delegates from 70 countries, also provides an opportunity for Europol and INTERPOL to reconfirm their strong commitment to continue their collaboration in the fight against cybercrime.
The Europol-INTERPOL Cybercrime Conference is a joint initiative launched in 2013. Held annually, it is hosted in alternate years by Europol and INTERPOL.