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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…

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By BROOKS TIGNER , BRUSSELS – The European Defence Agency (EDA) will soon be reviewing bids in response to one of its tenders to investigate a new kind of technology to protect military air platforms and other targets from attack. The technology could have direct applications for civil security end-users such as police, border control and law enforcement agencies as well – though that would only be a knock-on effect of the research contract since its primary purpose is to benefit Europe’s militaries. The EDA’s call for bids on the future work has just closed. Though its budget is modest, the technological implications are far-reaching since the goal is to scientifically investigate how to...