The police agency of Europe has said in a new study that technology is underpinning all serious crime.
This bold and concerning statement from Europol comes out of findings that show criminal gangs are now engaging in widespread use of technology, and it is this that police forces are finding the most difficult to tackle.
Technology allows organised criminals to mobilise and act beneath the radar of police, making it far harder to intercept or get ahead of plans made and crimes committed. According to the study?
Prominent areas in which technology is used to effect by criminals are “document fraud, money laundering and the online trade in illicit goods”, the study says that although these areas are not the ones that impact citizens generally, but they “facilitate most, if not all, other serious and organised crime.”
The recent news of hackers utilising a site on the Dark Web to name and shame other hackers who do not stick to the ‘honour among thieves’ style mob etiquette is an example of organisation, and the ability to streamline criminal performance by ousting other criminals.
The scale of the problem is vast, with Europol revealing that it is currently tracking 5,000 separate international crime groups.
The study found that the groups vary in size, with the spectrum ranging from loosely connected networks of criminals, to international groups which are able to match multinational corporations on profits.
There is no sign of the growth of this problem slowing, as the malicious actors have proven formidable in enhancing their approach to cyber-crime, the study says: “criminals quickly adopt and integrate new technologies into their modi operandi or build brand-new business models around them.”