THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The European Union police agency says in a new report that cybercriminals are cashing in on the coronavirus crisis by targeting people and companies that are spending more time online due to work-from-home orders.
Europol issued its annual Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment Monday. It underscores earlier warnings by the Hague-based police organization to the EU’s 27 member states about cybercrime during the pandemic.
The assessment covers all aspects of cybercrime. It cautions that “many individuals and businesses that may not have been as active online before the crisis became a lucrative target” for cybercriminals who are able to quickly adapt existing online crime to fit emerging vulnerabilities.
Criminals also used the global pandemic to spread disinformation about the virus for financial gain.
The report says that distributing fake news online about potential cures or treatments “facilitated criminals seeking to sell items that they claim will help prevent or cure COVID-19.”
Another element of cybercrime that has risen during the pandemic is the online distribution of images of the sexual abuse of children and livestreaming abuse. The report says that the COVID-19 crisis “revealed an extra surge in online distribution” of such material.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— Americans fault US govt over foreign powers for virus crisis
— Trump, moving to show strength, aims for Monday release
— Biden campaign says Democratic presidential nominee tested negative for virus
— EU top official self-isolating after contact with virus case
— Asian shares rise as investors are optimistic about Trump’s recovery from virus
Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
COPENHAGEN, Denmark — The Danish Health Authority has called off the traditional Halloween routine where costumed children and adults go from house to house, asking for trick or treats, and said that such practices “may be associated with the risk of spreading the infection.”
In its latest recommendation, the government agency suggests organizing Halloween parties only with people who see each other often and “replace the door-to-door candy collection with other activities, such as carving out pumpkins (or) an outdoor treasure hunt” or making Halloween paper decorations.
“If you serve sweets, make sure they are wrapped or portioned,” the agency said.
In the past years, the Oct. 31 festivities have become rather big in Denmark that has seen 30,057 cases and 659 deaths.
DETROIT — Buses returned to Detroit streets Monday after a three-day work stoppage by drivers over coronavirus protections and disputes with riders.
Police officers will increase their presence as part of a deal between the city and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 26. Riders must continue to wear masks and they must not cross a barrier or approach the driver.
Drivers “generally do not feel safe at work due to violent and threatening circumstances presented by customers and members of the public,” the memo states.
Detroit buses serve an average of 85,000 people a day.
A driver was suspended for 29 days for