These are the major cybercrime threats in Norway, according to experts

Norway cybercrimePhoto: Unsplash
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Cybercrime is one of the biggest threats in Norway at present and it will remain so in the foreseeable future, a source in the National Criminal Investigation Service told Norway Today.

According to research by Specops Software, European countries are very exposed to cyber-attacks.

The researchers also found that Norway is the second safest country when it comes to cybercrime, as it only accounted for 1.38% of cyber attacks in Western Europe.

However, Norway Today’s sources in the Norwegian police believe that the threat of cybercrime will continue to loom large as Norwegians are increasingly using technology in both their private life and their work lives.

Furthermore, the pandemic and the massive use of technology have resulted in an increase in cybercrime.

Europol: The pandemic triggered a rise in cybercrime

According to the police, the law in Norway is technology-neutral, and fraud in real life and those committed in cyberspace are regulated by the same paragraphs of the law.

Citing Europol’s “Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment for 2020”, experts say that the pandemic prompted a significant change and criminal innovation in the area of cybercrime.

Criminals have either devised new ways of operating or exhausted the existing ones to reap the benefit of the situation.

Norway Today has previously reported on the ‘Cyber Crime Survey’ conducted by PwC last year, according to which just over two-thirds of respondents have been exposed to a security incident aimed at their business.

What are the major cybercrime threats in Norway?

The following cybercrimes have increased and evolved in both Norway and Europe.

A. Cyber-dependent crime

Ransomware remains the most dominant threat as criminals mount pressure by threatening victims with the publication of useful/private/sensitive data if they don’t pay.

Emotet, a Trojan mostly spread through spam emails, is omnipresent for its versatile use and it is one of the leading modern malware.

According to experts, the threat potential of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks is higher than its present impact in the EU.

B. Online child sexual abuse

The amount of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) detected continues to rise, and the situation has worsened given the pandemic’s presence which has serious consequences for the capacity of law enforcement authorities.

Encrypted chat apps and industry proposals to expand the market pose a substantial risk for abuse. Online detection and investigation of child sexual exploitation (CSE) activities have become difficult over the years.

Similarly, the percentage of sexual crimes involving children has increased amid the pandemic.

Live streaming of child sexual abuse has increased. Closure of schools has left children home-bound, making them dependent upon technology to acquire academic learning.

C. Payment fraud

SIM swapping, a sort of an account takeover fraud, continues to be one of the major threats that allow perpetrators to take over accounts.

Business email compromise (BEC) attacks are another area of concern with increased sophistication.

Online investment frauds and card-not-present frauds are also prevalent with millions of victims falling prey to cybercriminals. These two frauds also help perpetrators diversify in terms of target sectors.

Abuse of Darkweb

According to the Europol study, the Darkweb scene has remained volatile, the lifecycles of Darkweb market places have shortened, and no other dominant market has come up in the past few years to fill up the void created by the takedowns in 2019.

However, the research stated that the nature of the Darkweb community at the administrator level showed how adaptive it is at challenging times, including more effective cooperation to ensure better security solutions and safe Darkweb interaction.

Privacy-enhanced cryptocurrencies and concepts such as Wasabi and Samurai are playing key roles in this regard, according to the study.

How to prevent cybercrimes?

According to the police, the answer lies in being aware and working collectively to tackle such crimes.

“The most important and effective preventing measure for everyday use is knowledge (being informed).

“It is important to educate people on the threats and what they can do to stay safe in cyberspace, and this is not only a police matter but a matter for society as a whole.

“When different entities work together for the common good, we will get people who are more able to spot the different dangers of cybercrime and hence avoid them,” an officer told Norway Today.

“International cooperation between different countries is very important in combating cybercrime, as the perpetrators can be situated across borders, and their attacks are seldom restricted to one country.

“This shows that cooperation and information exchange is important for all countries.

“At the same time, we have to develop methods and stay updated on trends in the cybercrime field. We need to keep up as the criminals develop new methods to commit cybercrime,” Norway Today’s police source said. 

The officer also explained that one of the easiest measures one can take to secure their online presence is two-factor authentication on the different services they use.

“Other measures are strong, unique passwords on each service, and security measures such as anti-virus and firewall.

“Back-ups of important materials are another way of securing yourself from the effects of cybercrime.”

In conclusion, here are some useful tips on how to avoid online fraud.

Follow these rules to avoid online fraud

  • Install antivirus software on all devices connected to the Internet.
  • Make backups and keep the software up to date.
  • WiFi: Always change the default password you have been given for the router.
  • Review the permissions of your apps, delete those you do not use.
  • Choose strong and unique passwords for email and social media accounts.
  • Enable 2-step verification (authentication) as an additional level of login security.
  • Review the privacy settings for your social media accounts.
  • Do not click on links in emails.
  • Check if the URL or email address is trustworthy.
  • Check all links by holding the mouse pointer over the link.
  • Do not provide sensitive personal information, PINs, passwords, or payment information if anyone asks for this.
  • Are you going to enter personal information on a website? Look for the green icon with a padlock on the far left of the browser’s address bar. Make sure it’s there.
  • Check the language and spelling. Many scammers live abroad. They must use translation programs to write in Norwegian. This often leads to poor spelling and grammar. Many errors could indicate that something is wrong.
  • Does something sound too good to be true? Then it usually is.
  • Don’t be scammed by websites that have a countdown for you to take action. 
  • Do you think something is amiss? Take the time to read it again. For example, call the sender of the email to find out if they actually sent you an email.

Source: Norway Today

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