Tue. Nov 12th, 2019

Europol report: ransomware remains the biggest threat to cybersecurity

2 min read

European Police Office (Europol), based in The Hague, the Netherlands, issued a report together with Interpol on the 9th, saying that ransomware is still the biggest threat to cybersecurity, and the world needs to strengthen cooperation against cybercrime. The report, entitled “INTERNET ORGANISED CRIME THREAT ASSESSMENT (IOCTA) 2019,” was released at the Europol-INTERPOL Cybercrime Conference at Europol’s headquarters.

OSeveno [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The report pointed out that data has become the main target of cybercriminals, so the security of data and the awareness of consumers’ cybersecurity are crucial. In addition, ransomware attacks against smart cities have become a priority. The report said that the most obvious ransomware attack in 2019 was for local governments, which was a warning to global cities.

Catherine De Bolle, Europol’s Executive Director commented: “This year’s IOCTA demonstrates that while we must look ahead to anticipate what challenges new technologies, legislation, and criminal innovation may bring, we must not forget to look behind us. ‘New’ threats continue to emerge from vulnera¬bilities in established processes and technologies. Moreover, the longevity of cyber threats is clear, as many long-standing and established modi operandi persist, despite our best efforts. Some threats of yesterday remain relevant today and will continue to challenge us tomorrow. Also, the global impact of huge cybersecurity events has taken the threat from cybercrime to another level. At Europol, we see that key tools must be developed to keep cybercriminals at bay. This is all the more important, considering that other crime areas are becoming increasingly cyber-facilitated.

Ransomware is a malware that uses ransomware for cyberattacks. It can block users’ normal access by locking devices or encrypting files, and extorting money. The ransomware is spread mainly through phishing emails, network shared files and removable storage media.