Europol’s IOCTA2020 report highlights rise in child sexual material online

Europol’s Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA) 2020 report highlights the growth of cybercrime in Europe. Apart from evolving and socially engineered ransomware, malware, and DDoS attacks, growing payment frauds, and continued criminal abuse of the darkweb, there has been significant growth in child abuse online. The distribution of child sexual abuse material(CSAM) has grown significantly, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes child-related crimes being conducted over encrypted chat apps, livestreaming of child sexual abuse, and commercialising the upload of child sexual material online  (i.e. profiting on the basis of the number of downloads).

In terms of recommendations, the report mentions the need for: more co-ordination and co-operation among member states; information sharing to offer timely responses to cybercrime; prevention and awareness along with better crisis management; and enhancing the legal framework and capacity building.