Police Battle Criminal Abuse of Cryptocurrency, EncryptionEuropol's Philipp Amann Describes Latest Cybercrime Trends Across EU and Beyond
"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.
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.