Threat from Organized Cybercrime Syndicates Is Rising

Europol reports that criminal groups are undermining the EU’s economy and its society, offering everything from murder-for-hire to kidnapping, torture and mutilation.

From encrypting communications to fencing ill-gotten gains on underground sites, organized crime is cashing in on the digital revolution.

The latest organized crime threat assessment from Europol issues a dire warning about the corrosive effect the rising influence of criminal syndicates is having on both the economy and society of the European Union. And it’s all happening online.

“The online environment and online trade provide criminals access to expertise and sophisticated tools enabling criminal activities,” The Europol Threat Assessment said. “Virtually all criminal activities now feature some online components, such as digital solutions facilitating criminal communications.

Digital Marketplaces

Digital marketplaces for illicit goods and services, ranging from drugs to trafficked humans, have helped organized crime access new potential victims, the report explained.

Several steps involved in the trafficking of human beings, including recruitment of victims and advertisement of services, “have moved almost entirely to the online domain,” the report said.

“The surface web and the dark web are exploited by criminals who offer all types of illicit commodities and most illegal services online,”

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