EU police: Cybercrime threats now focus on profits, data

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The European Union police agency says cybercriminals are using new technology and exploiting existing online vulnerabilities as they shift their focus to larger and more profitable targets.

Europol says data is a key target for criminals “so data security and consumer awareness are paramount for organizations.”

The warning came in Europol’s annual Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment report that was published Wednesday. It says new threats come not only from new technologies but also existing vulnerabilities “that remain unpatched for extended periods of time.”

The report says enhanced cooperation between law enforcers, computer security teams and others is the key to tackling major cyberattacks.

It says ransomware remains the top threat and while the number of attacks is declining, attackers are concentrating on “more profitable targets and greater economic damage.”