Europol just released its annual IOCTA (Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment) report. According to the Europol research, the agency sees ransomware as the most prominent threat to the cyber space.
“Cryptoware (encrypting ransomware) has become the most prominent malware threat, overshadowing data-stealing malware and banking Trojans,” the report says. “With cryptoware becoming a key threat for citizens and enterprises alike, law enforcement and the internet security industry have responded rapidly and in concert, with prevention and awareness campaigns and technical support, and operations targeting the criminal groups and infrastructure involved.”
Europol says ransomware “continues to be the dominant concern for EU law enforcement.” The variants of the malware have multiplied, and each version has unique properties. However, most of these ransomware variants use the same encryption technologies, such as Tor or l2P for communication and similar business models. Ransom is almost exclusively paid in bitcoins. Ransomware attacks target both individuals, businesses, institutions, healthcare or even the government.
According to the law enforcement agency, Crime-as-a-Service (CaaS) is the dominating business model among cybercriminals. CaaS provides the tools and services to the customers on the dark web.
“The mature Crime-as-a-Service model underpinning cybercrime continues to provide tools