Direct sexual abuse on Internet is amongst cybercrimes on the rise
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    Direct sexual abuse on Internet is amongst cybercrimes on the rise

    © Belga
    Cybercrime sexual abuse is once again under the microscope.
    © Belga

    On-line sexual abuse, sexual harrassment and so-called “revenge porn” are on the rise on the Internet. This warning came yesterday (Wednesday) from Europol, stressing that vulnerable children were increasingly victims of sexual predators.

    “Direct child abuse committed remotely is on the increase,” the European Office for the police indicated in its most recent annual report upon the evaluation of organized cybercrime.

    This type of crime which is being disseminated in a continuous stream “involves an aggressor conducting direct abuse at a specific pre-defined time through video-sharing platforms,” Europol went on in its 72-page report.

    It also stated, “The abuse may be ‘adapted’ to the demands of one or criminals, who both desire it and for whom a record can normally be traced,” the office, based in The Hague, added.

    A Europol communiqué is very clear that essentially “cybercrime, by its extent, the various sectors it affects and both the human and material damage it inflicts, has reached dangerously high levels.”

    The most illegal activities happen on the so-called “Dark Net”, the encrypted obscure part of the Internet, which does not appear in results for traditional search engines, such as Google, Ask and Yahoo. Such portals thereby offer their users a greater degree of anonymity.

    Steven Wilson, who leads the Europol cybercrime centre (EC3), says that investigators have noted an increase in so-called “revenge porn.”

    Such activity takes the form of public dissemination on social networks of an intimate photograph of an ex-spouse.

    Piracy-based bribery is also on the rise. This involves computer attacks, during which digital data is blocked by hackers, who then demand money in exchange for the data release code.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times