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Interpol Report: “Financial Crime-as-a-Service” an Emerging Threat

Cybercrime, piracy and data theft. Network security breach. Compromised computer showing skull and bones symbol. Digital 3D rendering concept.

There is a correlation between financial crimes and cybercrime, according to the Global Crime Trend report from Interpol. Now, criminals are exploring new opportunities to use digital technologies for cybercrime-as-a-service.

Pandemic Spurs Cybercrime

To date, criminals have been using digital technologies to commit financial fraud, Interpol noted. They also have utilized these technologies to launder stolen funds.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the emergence of "financial crime-as-a-service," Interpol indicated. Financial crime-as-a-service provides criminals with digital money laundering tools that they can use to cash out their stolen funds.

Money Laundering Is Top Crime Threat

Respondents ranked money laundering first among the top crime threats in Interpol's report, with 67% naming it a "high" or "very high" threat. Ransomware ranked second at 66%, and respondents indicated they expected this threat to increase the most (72%) in the future.

Other notable results from Interpol's report included:

  • More than 70% of respondents expect ransomware, phishing attacks and other cybercrime to increase or significantly increase in the next three to five years.
  • More than 60% ranked crimes such as money laundering, ransomware, phishing and online scams as high or very high threats.
  • In the Americas and the Caribbean, cybercrime topped the crimes that regional law enforcement perceive as future threats.
  • In Europe and Africa, respondents named phishing and online scams as the biggest current threats.
  • In the Middle East and North Africa, respondents named computer intrusion, phishing attacks, ransomware and other cybercrime high among current and future crime threats.

Interpol's full report will be presented at its General Assembly meeting in New Delhi, India. In addition, officials from Interpol's 195 member nations continue to explore ways to combat cyber threats.

Dan Kobialka

Dan Kobialka is senior contributing editor, MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E. He covers IT security, IT service provider business strategies and partner programs. Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State University. In his free time, Dan enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football.