Business Day

Ransomware tops ‘epidemic’ of cybercrime

- Toby Sterling The Hague /Reuters

Ransomware eclipsed most other forms of cybercrime as online crime surged in 2017, a report by European policing agency Europol says, citing high-profile attacks such as “WannaCry” that reached millions of computers.

Europol co-ordinated several successful cross-border operations against cybercrimi­nals in 2016. But national authoritie­s urgently needed to devote more resources to targeting the developers of hacking tools, the agency’s head said. “The last year has been exceptiona­l, given the size and the type and the range of the attacks we’ve seen,” Europol director Rob Wainwright said. “Growing sophistica­tion in the cybercrime community”, where criminal groups banded together to deliver “cybercrime services”, was becoming the major engine of growth in online crime undertaken for illegal profit.

The Europol report named data breaches, darknet markets, extortion of youths for child pornograph­y and payment fraud as growing threats.

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