While there might not have been high-profile incidents like the Wannacry or NotPetya ransomware outbreak this year, the rise of GandCrab and SamSam variants show that the threat of ransomware is still very active, and adapting.
All over Europe, law enforcement agencies performed actions against suspects who bought counterfeit euro banknotes on illegal platforms on the Darknet. These actions, coordinated by Europol, started on 19 November and the majority of interventions took place from 3 to 6 December.
On 29 November 2018, Europol’s European Union Internet Referral Unit (EU IRU) organised its 12th joint Referral Action Day with the national referral units of seven Member States and third parties, including Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Lithuania, Portugal and the United Kingdom. This joint action was coordinated from Europol’s headquarters in The Hague and targeted online material linked to terrorist activities.
As part of an international operation, Europol’s Intellectual Property Crime Coordinated Coalition (IPC3) has seized 33.654 domain names distributing counterfeit and pirated items online. The websites distrusted items such as counterfeit pharmaceuticals, pirated films, television shows, music, software, electronics and other bogus products.
New tool made available to all in latest victory of law enforcement in the battle against ransomware.
On Friday 21 September 2018 the Polish Central Bureau of Investigation in Gdansk dismantled an illegal print shop producing counterfeit EUR 50 banknotes. The printer sold the counterfeit banknotes on illegal darknet marketplaces and sent them all over the European Union and beyond.
A six-month long joint operation targeting organised crime groups involved in fuel fraud has resulted in the arrests of 25 suspects so far and the seizure of 2.2 million kg of illicit fuel. This illegal trade can cause damage to vehicles’ engines, as the product is not compliant with the relevant European standards. Consequently, it can also be a risk to consumer health and safety.
SINGAPORE – Cyber experts from law enforcement, the private sector and academia have gathered in Singapore this week to devise strategies for promoting the global cybersecurity agenda.
Europol’s latest cybercrime report provides insights into emerging threats and key developments.
With the support of Europol and Frontex, two suspects were arrested on 12 September in a series of coordinated raids across Germany and Sweden in an investigation targeting a Syrian organised crime group suspected of cyber fraud. House searches were carried out in Aachen, Dortmund and Essen (Germany), and in Nörrköping, Malmö and Helsingborg (Sweden), where police recovered some EUR 54 000 and USD 55 000. The arrestees are believed to be the key organisers of a cyber fraud gang.
After a year-long complex investigation coordinated by Europol, authorities in Hampshire, south east England, Scotland and Ireland have arrested six, suspected of illicitly distributing premium TV channels by using Internet Protocol television (IPTV) technology.
Illegal hunting, trapping and trading of birds are not the only criminal activities threatening the lives of endangered species. Collecting hatchlings (newly hatched birds) and eggs from the nests of protected birds is a new reported trend in wildlife crime, which is causing a degradation of natural habitats and bringing protected species to the brink of extinction.
After six years of preparation and coordination, the international Operation Warenagent has seen the arrest of 15 individuals, thought to be members of a network responsible for online fraud causing EUR 18 million worth of damage. The operation was conducted by the German Prosecutor’s Office of Dresden, the Saxon State Office of Criminal Investigation, the Lithuanian Police and the Lithuanian Prosecutor’s Office, with help from Europol and Eurojust at the international level.
Action focused on the referral of jihadist terrorist content on Google-related platforms
Europol has supported the Spanish Guardia Civil and the National Police of Colombia in dismantling two criminal organisations involved in large-scale money laundering. It is estimated that the EUR 2.5 million have been laundered by using different methods, such as smurfing and cryptocurrency exchanges.
Some 360 tonnes of illegal or counterfeit pesticides were seized in Europe as the result of Operation SILVER AXE III, an annual operation coordinated by Europol with the support of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).
Today Orange signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Europol, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, to enhance their collaboration and share information on cyberthreats and major attacks. With this agreement, the two organisations are combining their efforts to make cyberspace safer for individuals, businesses, and governments and prevent cybercrime.
Today, at 04:00 in the morning, more than 250 police officers searched simultaneously 40 houses in the Italian regions of Sicily, Calabria, Piedmont, Apulia as well as in Ehningen (Germany), London (UK) and Barcelona (Spain).
74 Investigators, forensic experts, and future police officers joined the 4th Edition of the Europol Training Course on Payment Card Fraud Forensics and Investigations at the Spanish National Police Academy in Ávila, Spain.
In the first half of June, Europol and CEPOL organised, together with the Polish Police, an advanced training course on dismantling illicit synthetic drugs laboratories.
The Spanish Guardia Civil and the Austrian Federal Police, supported by Europol, have dismantled a criminal network producing and distributing synthetic drugs worldwide, known as new psychoactive substances (NPS), on the Darknet. The criminal group was also involved in money laundering their share of the profits by selling cryptocurrencies, mainly Bitcoins. More than EUR 4 500 000 in Bitcoins, IOTA and lumen was seized by law enforcement authorities.
Eight suspects of illicit vehicle trafficking have been arrested after the Hungarian and Slovakian authorities joined forces with Europol. The criminal group was under investigation for embezzling three luxury cars in 2017. The cars were originally registered in Slovakia, then reregistered in Hungary with fake vehicle registration certificates and subsequently sold to private, often unsuspecting, individuals.
Europol coordinated raids at European airports, targeting criminals trying to travel using fraudulently bought tickets. As the peak summer holiday time approaches, over 141 individuals were arrested last week in the latest law enforcement swoop which took place at over 226 airports around the world.
Intellectual property crime is extensive in the EU and continues to represent a cause for concern. Criminal activity in this area can cause harm to the health and safety of EU citizens, as well as the environment. It also affects national economies, contributing to reduced revenues for the affected businesses, decreased sales volume and job losses.
The Spanish Guardia Civil, in collaboration with the Spanish Tax Agency and supported by Europol, has dismantled a Chinese criminal organisation that fraudulently imported goods into the European Union (EU) from China. The Europol-supported operation represents the biggest success for financial investigators so far this year, with EUR 8 million in cash seized by law enforcement officers.