Europol: Ransomware Gangs Focusing on High Profile Targets

Europol: Ransomware Gangs Focusing on High Profile Targets

Ransomware gangs have increasingly focused on high-profile targets like large corporations and government institutions in the past year, according to Europol’s Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA) 2021.

The report, which offers insights into current cybercrime trends in Europe, revealed that ransomware actors have taken advantage of widespread homeworking to launch more sophisticated and targeted attacks.

The law enforcement agency also highlighted the growing use of multi-layered extortion methods to extort service providers, financial institutions and businesses, such as DDoS attacks.

Additionally, they observed that cyber-criminals have increasingly recognized the potential to attack a large number of organizations via supply chain attacks, often targeting the ‘weakest link.’ The Kaseya and SolarWinds incidents are prominent examples of this trend.  

Another concerning finding in the report was an “alarming” rise in self-produced explicit material of children online. This has been driven by increased unsupervised internet use by children in the pandemic. The authors said children were frequently lured into producing and sharing explicit material of themselves by offenders using fake identities on gaming platforms and social media sites. Additionally, some offenders recorded or captured victims performing live-streamed sexual acts for them without the victims’ knowledge.

Other notable trends in the

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