Cyber experts from law enforcement, the private sector and academia recently gathered in Singapore to devise strategies for promoting the global cybersecurity agenda.
With cybercriminals using increasingly sophisticated methods and technologies to carry out their illicit activities, the 6th INTERPOL-Europol Cybercrime Conference focused on the most pressing cyberthreats today and in the future, which include attacks against the financial and government sectors, the rise of ‘cybercrime as a service,’ denial of service (DNS) attacks, and business e-mail compromise scams.
Under the theme of ‘Globalized efforts to tackle cybercrime,’ the three-day (18-20 September) conference looked at ways in which stakeholders from all sectors can combine their expertise to make the internet a more secure environment. Key areas of discussion included developing actionable cyberthreat intelligence, identifying cybercriminals through their online behaviour, defining the role of digital forensics, implementing national and regional legislations to tackle cybercrime, and crisis response planning.
“The accelerated pace of technological innovation presents truly exciting opportunities. However, each new evolution also presents potential security gaps which cybercriminals are bound to probe,” said Tim Morris, Executive Director of Police Services, INTERPOL, “We must not only remain ahead of the technological curve, we must do so collectively. Only through a concerted globalized effort which maximizes our expertise and minimizes the gaps will we be the best prepared to tackle emerging cyberthreats.”
He highlighted several recent activities including the INTERPOL digital security challenge where participants investigated a simulated cyberattack launched through an ‘Internet of Things’ connected device, and a working group meeting on the darknet and cryptocurrencies which identified emerging threats such as the rise of new forms of virtual currencies.
Following the 2017 INTERPOL-Europol conference, the two organizations have made notable progress in addressing the key identified areas of ransomware, the criminal abuse of the darknet, and the implementation of a proactive approach to increase public awareness of online safety. In this respect, the two organizations have discussed the need for a strategy to combat the illegal darknet economy through information sharing, operational support, training and awareness raising.
“2018 has seen greater law enforcement success in fighting cybercrime on a global basis and increased public awareness of the threat, but cybercriminals are becoming smarter and more targeted in their approach and presenting an ever-increasing threat,” said Steven Wilson, Head of the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), “The annual INTERPOL-Europol Cybercrime Conference is an important event to bring together not just global law enforcement partners but thought leaders from industry and academia to ensure that there is a cross sector approach to tackling this threat.”
Several high-level delegates attending the conference included the European Union (EU) Ambassador to Singapore, Barbara Plinkert. In recent months, the EU has been working towards implementing a new EU Cybersecurity Crisis Response Framework, allowing authorities to react quickly, operationally and in unison in the event of a major cross-border cyberattack. The EU Law Enforcement Emergency Response Protocol, the police contribution to the crisis management structure, was presented during the event in Singapore.
The conference, which brought together 198 delegates from 50 countries, also provided an opportunity for Europol and INTERPOL to reconfirm their strong commitment to continue their collaboration in the fight against cybercrime, building on successful examples such as the Global Airline Action Days targeting individuals purchasing airline tickets with stolen or fake credit card details, and the No More Ransom initiative which provides free public access to tools for decrypting data locked by ransomware.
The INTERPOL-Europol Cybercrime Conference is a joint initiative launched in 2013. Held annually, it is hosted in alternate years by Europol and INTERPOL.