Europol opens new European Cybercrime Centre

Europol, the European Union's law enforcement agency that handles criminal intelligence, has decided to open a new European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) in The Hague, which will be the focal point in the EU’s fight against cybercrime.
EC3 will mainly work to support EU institutions and member states in building operational and analytical capacity for investigations and cooperation with international partners. Its mandate will comprise several areas, including online fraud, cybercrime and attacks on the critical infrastructure and information systems of the EU.
According to European Central Bank data, cited by Europol, payment card fraud in the EU has been on the decline in recent years, despite the large number of credit and debit cards in circulation, 726.9 million have been issued in EU countries in 2011. Developments such as chip and PIN technology, offering upgraded security than just magnetic strips, were the main reason, but organised crime groups still made about EUR 1.5 billion a year in revenue from card fraud.
The main avenues of fraud were using duplicate cards in countries outside the EU, using cash machines and payment card terminals that did not make use of chip and PIN technology, as well as in transactions where the payment card was not present, such as mail order or online purchases. Europol unveils that most of the credit card numbers misused in the EU come from data breaches in the US.
The same source indicates that criminals are able to target chip-enabled cards when they are used in cash machines and payment machines in the US, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Russian Federation, Brazil and Mexico.

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