Workshop: CSH hosts Austrian and German law enforcement agencies to tackle cybercrime

02.02.2023

News

Cybercrime is increasing rapidly, new methods are ready

The course is set. At yesterday’s meeting of the Complexity Science Hub with the Central Office for Cybercrime Bavaria (ZCB) and Austrian law enforcement agencies, new investigative approaches were discussed and initial results presented on how cybercrime can be prosecuted more efficiently in the future.

The criminal phenomenon of cybertrading is experiencing tremendous growth, and the number of child sexual abuse material cases is exploding. While the Central Office for Cybercrime Bavaria (ZCB) initiated around 1,100 proceedings against suspected perpetrators in the field of child sexual abuse material in 2020, the number had already exceeded 3,200 by 2021. “The year 2022 ended for us with almost 5,100 proceedings,” says Thomas Goger, senior public prosecutor in Bamberg and deputy head of the ZCB, explaining the dimension of the problem. And he does not recognize a downward trend.

WE NEED TO KNOW THE NETWORKS

In order to be able to counteract this with new, modern methods in a digitalized world, the ZCB started a cooperation with the Complexity Science Hub in June 2022. Network-based approaches, developed by the research team around project leader BHaernhard slhofer, can increase the efficiency of investigations.

“Both crime areas that have been part of the project in recent months – fraudulent investment platforms on the Internet and financial flows related to child sexual abuse material – have a strong connection to cryptocurrencies,” Haslhofer said. By tracking these financial flows and interconnecting them, researchers can visualize links between different cases. This makes it possible to conduct much more targeted investigations.

The first results of this cooperation were now presented at yesterday’s event. Together with the Austrian law enforcement agencies as well as the City of Vienna, concrete implementation strategies were discussed in order to develop a future thrust. “We live in the age of digitalization. Tomorrow will look different than today. This also affects cybercrime and child abuse in particular. Therefore, it is important that we think about methods today that we can also use tomorrow. Personally, I am pleased to be able to make a contribution here,” says Haslhofer.

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