Europol Releases the 2016 Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment

The Europol’s newest report, the 2016 Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment, was released yesterday. The report cites that due to the increase in cyber criminals using sophisticated tools, it has become more difficult for law enforcement to apprehend these criminals.

The Europol’s report covers what different types of Malware have been released, child-related internet threats, payment fraud, and data breaches. It also contains tips for the general public on how to avoid these threats and stay safe online. It also contains advice for law enforcement on how to combat these growing threats, and what tools to use in order to help catch these cyber villains. The report predicts tendencies in cybercrime and new developments regarding information-stealing programs.

Robert Wainwright, director of Europol, had this to say:

“A growing range of threats from trafficking in human beings to terrorism are becoming increasingly cyber-facilitated.”

Since forming in 2013, the European Cyber Center has been promoting global cyber security policies. It serves the EU on operation analysis, coordination help, and overall guidance when it comes to these threats.

It is also a middle man between law enforcement and the private online security sector.  Education in cybercrime and cyber security training have been facilitated by EC3.

They have helped in the growing child pornography problem and deep web related cases as well, from the FBI tracking down extreme cases of pedophiles to online terrorism in the EU, to EU arms and drug trafficking.

We see cases in the headlines all the time about the dangers of the dark net, or deep web. In case you haven’t heard, the deep web is a section of the internet that search engines like Google do not operate on. Regardless of the horror stories some might read online, the deep web, or dark net, is mostly just empty space, and information stored by huge educational institutions. The horror stories of drugs, weapons, and sex for sale are true, just not to the magnitude the stories portray. Under 10% of the space occupied on the deep web belongs to such things.

Honestly, the scariest thing I’ve ever seen on the dark net were websites advertising stolen credit card information. I’ve heard the rumors of webcam murder/torture rooms, child porn forums, hit man forums, and so on. I’ve searched and searched, and the only links I could find would lead the user to a couple of dozen child porn related pages, which were reported to the appropriate agencies. All of the supposed hit man for hire sites have been proven to be nothing more than scams. All in all, it’s a rather boring place if you’re not into possibly going to prison for years for having drugs shipped through the mail. But if that’s your thing, then the dark net might be your place to be.

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