Europol expects further increase in cybercrime with coronavirus abuse

Europol sees that cybercrime in which the coronavirus is used for infections, fraud and other threats has increased significantly. The service expects this form of crime to increase further.

Europol notes in a report that criminals were quick to capitalize on the opportunities for abuse offered by the measures against the corona virus. The research organization cites factors such as the high demand for protective measures such as face masks, the decreased traffic of people and goods and the increase in working from home. Fear also makes people vulnerable to exploitation, according to Europol.

In its report, Europol describes that criminals harass citizens and companies with phishing emails, trying to entice recipients to click further or open attachments by promising information about covid-19. The organization also sees increasing activity on the dark web, where certain scarce goods are offered for high prices and fake goods at low prices.

Furthermore, Europol says it is likely that criminals will increasingly target homeworkers, because some of them will connect to their organization’s networks. As examples of criminal activity, Europol cites a Czech hospital that recently became a victim of ransomware and a company that ordered masks for €6.6 million in Singapore, but never received them.