The corona pandemic and government lockdown measures are leading to an increase in cybercrime in the European Union, according to a Europol report.
According to the investigation and cooperation organization of European police services, more counterfeit products are also circulating, more fraud is being committed, and fraud, theft and property crimes are more frequent.
Criminals have quickly seen opportunities in the outbreak of the new coronavirus, according to Europol in The Hague. The number of cybercrime cases rose sharply in March and the first week of April.
Since then, the number of cases has gradually declined. Because people work from home and depend on their computers and the internet, criminals carry out more phishing and malware attacks.
In doing so, they try to capture sensitive information from users. According to Europol, those attacks quickly became more sophisticated and complex.
In ransomware attacks, also known as ransomware, criminals strike faster. There is less time between the infection of victims’ computers with malicious software and its activation. Europol is also concerned about the increased distribution of child abuse images.
According to the agency, more conversations are taking place online between potential perpetrators, in which they discuss the increased presence and vulnerability of children online.