Europol Review 2014


New Europol initiative to fight online child sexual abuse

Victim Identification Taskforce img

Victim Identification Taskforce

In November 2014 Europol, at the request of EU Member States and third parties, hosted a Victim Identification Taskforce (VIDTF) to harness cooperation in a new way.

Over 12 days experts in victim identification worked on an unprecedented amount of child sexual abuse and exploitation material gathered from seizures in some of those countries.

New Europol Initialive to Fight Online Child Sexual Abuse Cybercrime

New Europol Initiative to Fight Online Child Sexual Abuse

Industry reports child abuse material encountered online to the CyberTipline, the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children’s reporting mechanism for suspected child sexual exploitation. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) provide Europol with information from the tipline.

Europol cross-checks and provides intelligence packages to the concerned EU Member States. A total of 5003 intelligence packages have been sent since November 2013.

Download the publication “Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online”:

Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce operates from Europol’s headquarters img

Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce operates from Europol’s headquarters

The Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT) was launched in September 2014 to further strengthen the fight against cybercrime in the European Union and beyond. The J-CAT coordinates international investigations against key cybercrime threats such as underground forums and malware, including banking Trojans.

Initiated by Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), the EU Cybercrime Taskforce, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA), the J-CAT is composed of Cyber Liaison Officers from EU Member States, third countries, and Europol’s EC3. The J-CAT has already supported several high profile cybercrime operations, such as Operation Imperium against an organised crime network active in payment fraud and Operation Onymous.

RAT spyware exposes personal data img

RAT spyware exposes personal data


Operation Mousetrap, led by France, targeted the users of remote access Trojans (RATs) - malware used to spy on victims’ computers. The operation was supported by Estonia, France, Italy, Latvia, Romania and the UK, and resulted in 15 arrests of mainly young adults in France, Romania and the UK.

Those arrested were suspected of misusing RATs to commit various cybercrimes such as theft of personal information, Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks and extortion. One of the major goals of the operation was to raise awareness about the threat of RATs used to commit serious crimes.

Download the publication “Tips and Advice to Prevent Identity Theft Happening to You”:

iOCTA: Crime-as-a-Service business model flourishes in cyberspace img

iOCTA: Crime-as-a-Service business model flourishes in cyberspace

Download the publication “The Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (iOCTA)”:


Cybercrime is developing along the lines of international business, as evidenced by the increased commercialisation and the development of a virtual underground economy using the so called ‘Crime-as-a-Service’ business model.

The ‘hidden Internet’, the Deep Web including Darknets, and the abuse of legitimate services it offers have become driving factors behind the evolution of this trend, but also of cybercrime in general. These new trends are analysed in the 2014 Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (iOCTA) report. This Europol EC3 flagship strategic product informs decision makers about on-going developments and emerging threats in this field.