Organized cybercrime in Mexico
has posed an increasing threat to civilians, as well as both private and public institutions, according to a report by Europol .
The document, which was presented yesterday by Philipp Amann, head of strategy of Europol’s European Cybercrime Center , before the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs , claimed that “Mexico’s profile has become more prominent” in cases involving online crime.
“Mexico has fallen victim to the largest number of cyber-attacks in Latin America , right after Brazil ,” the report states.
“In both Brazil and Mexico, e-mails containing URL addresses that lead to malicious websites are quite common . Some of these websites are related to the highest spam rates in the world.”
Symantec ranked Mexico among the top 10 countries with the most malicious links disseminated through e-mails; notably, Mexico ranked 7 after Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Norway, and the UK .
In Mexico, the percentage of spam mail containing links to malicious websites was of 16.4% in 2017 , according to the firm which specializes in online security.
Europole claims that the main threat hovering over Mexico and Latin America, from a public safety standpoint, is associated with fraud in online payments , such as card cloning and digital tools manipulation .
The computer security company McAfee has estimated that the financial impact of cybercrime in Mexico rises to USD$3 billion a year .
According to the MEP Juan Fernando López Aguilar , member of the Committee on Civil Liberties , the document offers a thorough and specific analysis of emerging threats and their development in the past year. It also offers predictions of future trends and includes recommendations to meet cyber security challenges accordingly.
Europol has detected an increase in users’ personal data vulnerability, as well as criminal abuse in the dark net, and a broader use of cryptocurrencies among criminal groups. The document identified eight future threats.
“We have also noticed that traditional criminal organizations are growing more and more active online . There has also been an increase of child sexual abuse online and a broader use of communication outlets to disseminate this type of material,” stated Amann.
Another emerging phenomenon that has drawn the attention of Europol is cryptojacking or cryptocurrency mining , which consists of the hijacking of a third party hardware to extract virtual currencies without the owner’s consent.
The expert assured that, in order to fight online criminal networks, it is fundamental for all sectors to cooperate.
Furthermore, he added, cyber security services should focus their resources on “high-priority objectives,” in order to meet the challenges of technological evolution and make better use of it to be more proactive.
Information campaigns are fundamental to reduce risks among users
, according to Europol.
To access the full report, click here .