The 2014 Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment published today by Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) describes an increased commercialisation of cybercrime. A service-based criminal industry is developing, in which specialists in the virtual underground economy develop products and services for use by other criminals. This 'Crime-as-a-Service' business model drives innovation and sophistication and provides access to a wide range of services that facilitate almost any type of cybercrime. As a consequence, entry barriers into cybercrime are being lowered, allowing those lacking technical expertise to venture into cybercrime by purchasing the skills and tools they lack.
Adding to the complexity of the dynamic cybercrime picture, the 2014 report emphasises that criminals predominantly operate from jurisdictions outside of the EU which, combined with outdated legal tools and insufficient response capacities, allows them to operate with minimum risk.