Covid-19 is making people sick, and sick people even sicker.
According to the European police agency Europol, the covid-19 outbreak has been a boon for cybercriminals across Europe, especially for child pornographers and online scammers. In the Europol annual cybercrime report, the fear for the virus combined with unprecedented Internet usage, have encouraged criminals to shift towards new forms of illegal services.
“Criminals quickly exploited the pandemic to attack vulnerable people… to sell items they claim will prevent or cure Covid-19,” the agency said in a statement.
Reported by the Agence France-Presse (AFP), there had also been increased cybecrime activities such as ransomware attacks, particularly targeting the health sector, and more sophisticated methods including reconnaissance on their targets and threats to sell the stolen data.
Lockdowns in the early stages of the pandemic encouraged a spike in child sexual abuse, often through dark web forums where individuals gain entry by “recording and posting their abuse of children, encouraging others to do the same”, the report said.
EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson said that the covid-19 outbreak has unfortunately accelerated online criminal activity. Organised crime exploits the vulnerable, be it the newly unemployed, exposed businesses, or, worst of all, children.
Meanwhile in Malaysia, there have been reported cases of Telegram groups selling and distributing photos and videos of women without their consent as well as child pornography.
Recently, 4 women whose photos and videos were shared without their consent and subjected to sexual taunts on local Telegram group chats each lodged a police report for sexual harassment and cybercrime at Bukit Aman.
Can’t imagine what these women and children are going through. Is there anything being done to fight back these cybercriminals? 2 months ago, The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) announced that it had successfully resolved 99.83% of the 11,235 complaints it had received in the first half of 2020.
But there’s still however many reported cybercrime activities during the second half. Which is why there will be a proposal made to the government to set up a cybercrime committee due to an alarming increase in such crimes this year, says the Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF). More on this here.