The European Commission (EC) has celebrated the first anniversary of its European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), which was opened to provide a more co-ordinated fight against digital crime.
The EC3, based in The Hague and part of Europol, was launched to help provide better protection to European citizens and businesses and so far has taken part in several major efforts against criminals.
The most notable of these was the work it did alongside the FBI and Microsoft to tackle the ZeroAccess botnet by seizing numerous servers that had been responsible for infecting more than two million machines worldwide.
The European commissioner for home affairs Cecilia Malmström said having a single facility dedicated to cybercrime was vital given the ever-changing security risks to individuals and business.
“Criminal behaviour is changing fast, exploiting technological developments and legal loopholes. Criminals will continue to be creative and deploy sophisticated attacks to make more money, and we must be able to keep up with them,” she said.
“The expertise of the EC3 is helping us to fight this battle and boost European co-operation.”
Troels Örting, head of EC3, said he was pleased with the progress made over the past 12 months, but admitted that the organisation had only seen the “tip of the iceberg” with the threat it faced.
"I am proud and satisfied with our results so far, however we cannot rest on our laurels. I am especially worried about the increasingly complex forms of malware that are surfacing, along with more technologically advanced cyber scams,” he said.
The EC3 also cited concerns that much of the malware and ransomware it is seeing is growing in sophistication, making it harder to detect and remove. Last week it warned that police ransomware was on the rise.
It also warned that cloud services are an increasingly common target for thieves. "The hacking of cloud services becomes more and more interesting for criminals. It is expected that criminals will increasingly aim at hacking such services for the purpose of spying, retrieval of credentials and extortion," it said.
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