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Live stream child sex abuse among rising cybercrime, says Europol


Live stream child sex abuse among rising cybercrime, says Europol

La transmisión policial en vivo de abuso sexual infantil y el llamado “porno de venganza” está aumentando en internet, advirtió la agencia de policía europea el 28 de septiembre, diciendo que los niños vulnerables son cada vez más víctimas de los depredadores sexuales.

“El abuso de niños lejanos en vivo está siendo … reportado como una amenaza creciente”, dijo Europol en su última evaluación anual de amenazas de crimen cibernético organizada, publicada en su sede en La Haya, informó AFP.

La transmisión en vivo de abuso sexual infantil “involucra a un perpetrador que dirige el abuso en vivo de niños en un marco de tiempo específico [preacordado] a través de plataformas para compartir videos”, dijo Europol en el informe de 72 páginas.

“El abuso se puede ‘adaptar’ a las solicitudes de los ofensores solicitantes y se puede registrar”, agregó.

Más en general, “el volumen, el alcance y el costo de los materiales de la ciberdelincuencia permanecen en una tendencia al alza y han alcanzado niveles muy altos”, dijo la agencia en una declaración separada.

La mayoría de las actividades ilegales tienen lugar en las llamadas “redes oscuras” o redes cifradas de igual a igual, que ofrecen mayor grado de anonimato a los usuarios.

Tradicionalmente, los grupos de abuso infantil en vivo tenían su base en el sureste de Asia, particularmente en Filipinas, pero “los informes más recientes indican que ahora se está extendiendo a otros países”, advirtió Europol.

Live streaming of child sexual abuse and so-called “revenge porn” is on the rise on the internet, Europe’s police agency warned Sept. 28, saying vulnerable children are increasingly falling victim to sexual predators.

“Live distant child abuse is… being reported as a growing threat,” Europol said in its latest annual cyber organized crime threat assessment, released at its headquarters in The Hague, AFP reported.

Live streaming of child sex abuse “involves a perpetrator directing the live abuse of children on a [pre-arranged] specific time-frame through video sharing platforms,” Europol said in the 72-page report.

“The abuse can be ‘tailored’ to the requests of the soliciting offender[s] and recorded,” it added.

More generally “the volume, scope and material cost of cybercrime all remain on an upward trend and have reached very high levels,” the agency said in a separate statement.

Most illegal activities take place in the so-called “darknet” or encrypted peer-to-peer networks, which offer greater degrees of anonymity to users.

Traditionally live stream child abuse groups were based in southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines, but that “more recent reports indicate that it is now spreading to other countries,” Europol warned.

“Regions of the world with high levels of poverty, limited domestic child protection measures and easy access to children are being targeted by offenders,” the policing agency said, without naming specific countries.
“The exploitation of children online is a huge problem for us,” Steven Wilson, Europol’s cybercrime center (EC3) chief told AFP in an interview.

Wilson added cybercrime investigators have also noticed a rise in so-called “revenge porn,” where sexually explicit images are posted without another person’s consent in order to harm that person or cause distress.
To counter these threats, Europol was working on a series of information videos on the dangers of online sexual abuse, which will soon be distributed in schools across various European countries.

The report also highlights other online cybercrimes, such as the growing threat of ransomware, that infects a victim’s computer and then captures data, before demanding a payment for the data to be released.

Whereas ransomware used to target individual victims and small businesses, it now focused on major companies and even public institutions such as hospitals, Wilson said.

“We have seen instances where hospitals have had their records locked out, potentially with fatal consequences,” Wilson said, referring to an ongoing case in the United States.

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