Home / Our Analyses / EU struggling to connect the criminal dots across the “dark web”

EU struggling to connect the criminal dots across the “dark web”

By PATRICK STEPHENSON , BRUSSELS – Policymakers and experts tracking cyber-crime gathered in Brussels on 20 to discuss European policing in the digital era and to hear about the latest criminal developments. The news was not encouraging. Rob Wainwright, Europol’s departing director, started off the debate by describing the results of a transatlantic sting launched in late 2016 that dismantled a huge international criminal infrastructure platform known as Avalanche. A stunning testament to organised crime’s increasingly automated and industrial nature, Avalanche launched botnet-led malware cyberattacks that caused EUR 6 million of losses in Germany, and hundreds of millons of euros worldwide. Yet in the operation that took it down, only five individuals were arrested. “We had 3600 organised crime groups in Europe three years ago,” he said. “Now we have 5000.” The main take-away of the debate: that…

This content is for members only.
Log In Create an account

Check Also

Impact of EU’s forthcoming defence fund riddled with unknowns

By BROOKS TIGNER , BRUSSELS – The rhetoric of EU and national leaders kow-tows incessantly to the vitality and importance of SMEs – small and medium sized enterprises – for Europe’s economic innovation and job-creating potential. Yet successful innovative SMEs in the EU that soar to become giants on the world stage are few and far between. There are a couple of Skype-type exceptions, but too many of Europe’s “garage” inventors who have a good idea, particularly in the digital field, head for the greener pastures of the USA where bureaucratic obstacles are lower, returns higher and venture capitalists more willing to take risks than their European counterparts. This points directly to the EU’s forthcoming European Defence Fund (EDF) and how it will generate high-tech results within the framework of PESCO, the permanent structured cooperation in defence that 23 EU member states (and counting) will set in motion in 2018. Such projects will necessarily have to draw in dual-use innovations from the commercial realm. A critical acid test for the defence fund will be to what extent it enables SMEs with interesting dual-use products in one PESCO country to...