Feeds

Cuffing darknet-dwelling cyberscum is tricky. We'll 'disrupt' crims instead, warns top cop

Hackers. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em?

Seven Steps to Software Security

Europe's top cyber-cop has called for a shift in focus from the prosecution of online crims to the disruption of their activities.

This comes as crooks increasingly make use of the darknet – private peer-to-peer networks such as Tor – to stay hidden and anonymous; cops find it difficult to work out suspects' true identities and proceed with prosecutions.

Troels Oerting, head of the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) at Europol, said that 75 to 80 per cent of wrongdoing his organisation investigates is carried out by groups based in Russia. "They are out of reach and there's no extradition, so the best we can hope for is local prosecution," Oerting told delegates to the Infosec conference in London today.

"Or we need to use the good old-fashioned way and wait until they leave the country to arrest them."

"We need to move between prosecution to disruption of cybercrime," he added.

Most of the nefarious activities of the top echelon of cybercriminals is done via anonymizing darknets, and this presents particular problems for cops and g-men. "We can't just seize a computer as evidence before using EnCase to examine it. Criminals are operating from cloud services," said Oerting. "They are not using Amazon or Microsoft clouds, but their own cloud services. This makes them very difficult to trace."

Oerting called for increased information-sharing to bolster the fight against cybercrime. "When you hunt down wolves the only way is to get info from the victims in banking and retail," he said.

"But [NSA whistleblower Edward] Snowden has made it more difficult for law enforcement to hunt down the wolves," he added – implying, we assume, that crims have switched up their security to avoid the authorities following leaks on how Western intelligence operates. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.