The Latest Cybercrime Trends and Investigations
I would like to share a few words on one the hottest topics affecting Europol’s cybercrime investigations: Cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin can be considered a technological breakthrough and disruptive technology – the underlying blockchain technology offers a number of different opportunities for businesses, for instance in the areas of identity management or the management of digital assets. While there had been other virtual currencies in existence before the advent of this technology, Bitcoin emerged as the first decentralised payment system.
Abuse by Criminals
To this date, Bitcoin remains by far the most important cryptocurrency. While Bitcoin facilitates legitimate transactions, it is also abused by criminals due to the key attributes the currency offers, particularly irreversible transactions, fast payments, no central control and a high degree of anonymity.
Cryptocurrencies often features in cybercrime investigations, particularly in cases of ransomware, extortion, phishing and default payment method in the Darknet.
We routinely assist with tracing and attribution of transactions facilitating cybercrime activity. Additionally, we developed several strategic materials for investigators including the most comprehensive LE Guide on investing cryptocurrency crime or an Introduction to Bitcoin Mixing services. Also, we test available commercial tracing tools and have developed several forensic and notification tools we disseminated to investigators from the member states. Lot of our effort also went into training LE around Europe in tracing, attribution and seizure of cryptocurrencies. Last but not least, we organise and host the largest cryptocurrency conference in Europe as well as meetings between LE and the relevant private sector.
The assistance of the private sector and exchanges in particular has been instrumental in a number of cryptocurrency investigations and seizures. In the absence of a harmonised legislation, the vast majority of the sector has applied self-regulation, seeking to identify their customers and are cooperative when asked for assisting investigations and it is their assistance that often helps us to identify the malicious players abusing cryptocurrencies for malevolent purposes.
Oldřich Martinů, Deputy Executive Director Governance of Europol
He joined the police in 1986. Over the next ten years service in various positions of public order and later the criminal police, he reached the rank of Counsellor at the Directorate of the Czech Criminal Police. During that time he graduated (in 1990) from the Faculty of Public Order. He continued his studies and graduated in 1995 having followed studies in Criminal law and Public law at the Faculty of Law, Charles University in Prague.
Between 1997 and 1999, Mr Martinů was the Director of the Czech National Central Bureau of Interpol at the Police Presidium.
Between 1999 and 2002, he served, on promotion, as the Director of the Police Directorate of Central Bohemia. He thereafter served as the Deputy Police President at the Police Presidium of the Czech Republic. He was appointed Police President of the Czech Republic in 2007, a post he held for over three years.
As the Chief of the Police, he was directly subordinate to the Minister of Interior responsible for the full scope of activities of the Police of the Czech Republic in the field of national security and public order. Together with the Minister of Interior he implemented a Reform of the Czech Police with a focus on streamlining of police services towards a higher level of safety and security.
He also represented the Police of the Czech Republic internationally. He was the Czech Republic member of the Europol Management Board and a representative to the General Assembly of Interpol. Prior his appointment to Europol, Mr Martinu worked at the Police Presidium of the Czech Republic, where his activities focused mainly on EU police cooperation matters.
He was promoted by the President of the Czech Republic to the rank Major General in 2009.
In November 2011, he was appointed by the EU Council to his current post as Deputy Director of Europol with specific responsibility for Governance matters.