They say that key trends include child exploitation being streamed online over VoIP, Tor being used for cyber-crime communication, increasingly active Botnets and C&C servers, while credit card payment fraud on EMV cards is cashed out in non-EMV supporting countries.
Marcin Skowronek, head of focal point ‘terminal', was a Polish police officer and moved to Europol's organised crime financial crime a year later and he now occupies his time monitoring payment fraud, an area he says has moved on from counterfeiting and skimming cards to hacking POS systems.
All investigators start their day monitoring the ‘patterns' in this space, and amongst others they say that banking Trojans, anonymised services and cyber-crime-as-a-service are prevalent. The latter was pointed out in EC3's recent Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment report, and Oerting tells SC that this lowering of the bar to entry into cybercrime means that there are “very few very good malware writers”. Gillen compares his investigators to a football team: “Everybody has different skills.”
The future generations are an issue and the skills-gap is keenly felt in information security –fortunately Oerting says EC3 is now cooperating with three universities with their Cyber Security Masters Degrees.
“I see the EU becoming more of a block in terms of this kind of crime,” says Gillen. “I can see us really working together, in an effective way, and becoming more of a united force against cyber-crime.
Oerting believes that reporting mechanisms and legislation must improve to accommodate cyber-crime but also stresses: “We need to see the internet as shared resource like water around us. It doesn't belong to anybody, we shouldn't accept any pollution of the internet, we need to find way to protect the internet. It's here that we have common story to share with Chinese and Russians because they also want that.
“They will spy on each other to the end of days, but at least we can fight normal organised crime. This is bad for all of us; sure, we can agree on that. That's what EC3 is trying to do.”