Nightmare cybercrime in Italy. The Postal Police: online fraud for 36 million, child pornography record

2021 security activity report published. 126 cyber attacks on financial systems of large and medium-sized enterprises registered. Internet crime boom for the sexual exploitation of minors. Over 5,000 cyber attacks on sites and critical infrastructures 04 Jan 2022 L. O.

2021 annus horribilis for Italian cybersecurity. Over 5 thousand cyber attacks on sites and critical infrastructures, 126 cyber attacks on the financial systems of large and medium-sized enterprises, while on the child pornography front there has been a boom in crimes. Index of topics • The numbers of financial cybercrime • Complaints for false green passes • Child pornography, crime records • The role of the P.S. online

The numbers of financial cybercrime

It emerges from the financial statements published by the Postal and Communications Police according to which the turnover of financial cybercrime continues to grow. In fact, in 2021 there were 126 cyber attacks on the financial systems of large and medium-sized enterprises, for a total amount of over 36 million euro illegally stolen through complex telematic fraud; 17 of these millions were recovered thanks to the intervention of the Postal Police. According to the investigators, "the attacks on the business world through fraud based on social engineering techniques are particularly conditioned by the pandemic in progress, especially for the widespread use of communication systems for remote economic management, resulting from the adoption of large scale smart-working processes ". Also with regard to the phenomena of phishing, smishing and vishing - techniques used to illegally steal personal and banking data - there is a significant increase in the cases handled (+ 27%) for a total of over 18 thousand crimes of theft of credentials for access to home banking systems, credit card numbers, private cryptocurrency wallet keys: 781 people reported. The investigations concerning the phenomenon of online scams in the field of e-commerce or in the context of platforms for the offer of goods and services, finally allowed the identification of over 3,200 alleged authors referred to the judicial authority.

Complaints for false green passes

On the cyberterrorism front, over 117,000 web spaces under investigation were examined: among these, 1,095 were characterized by illegal content, which resulted in the blackout in 471 cases. Thirty-nine people in all held responsible for jihadist propaganda activities (3), or linked to right-wing extremism (29) or anarchist movements (7). In the context of the movements attributable to the galaxy of the no vax and no green pass movements, 101 people were reported. "The serious socio-health emergency, accompanied by the restrictions introduced by the government to counter the spread of the virus - the Postal Police said - has in fact oriented a specific information monitoring activity of the channels and groups within the various online communication platforms , "For the early identification of events or unauthorized street demonstrations: over 300 channels on messaging platforms and web spaces monitored". Several investigations led to the denunciation of a total of 86 people for crimes such as forgery, computer fraud, in a case with 15 people involved in a criminal association aimed at producing false certifications by violating health information systems.

Child pornography, crime records

Strong increase in the course of 2021 in crimes of sexual exploitation of minors and online solicitation: 137 arrests were carried out (+ 98.5% compared to 69 the previous year and + 127% compared to 2019, pre-pandemic) and 1,400 investigated people (+ 17.1%, there were 1,192 in 2020). In the same period of time, the overall cases treated by the Cncpo, the National Center for the fight against online child pornography, were 5,515 (70% more than the previous year and 295% more than in 2019): the searches carried out in 2021 were over 1,400, 87% more than the previous year; 280,106 (+ 30.2%) the GB of material seized. On the prevention front, over 29,000 websites were monitored, 2,539 of which, child pornography results, were obscured by being included in the black list established pursuant to law 38/2006. In the context of crimes against the person always committed through the network, significant is the increase in sextortion phenomena (984, 54% more than in 2020) and revenge porn (225, 78% more) with over 500 cases handled and 190 offenders reported. Stalking crimes are also on the rise (+ 23%). Overall, for crimes against the person committed on the web, they were referred to the legal authority by over 1,400 people. The role of the P.S. online Record numbers for the portal of the P.S. online, an increasingly specialized reference for finding information, advice, suggestions of a general nature for network security: in 2021 it recorded 52 million accesses. The operational structure that manages the web space has processed over 28,000 requests for information and received 114,000 reports from citizens, 103% more than the previous year. Not only that: thanks to the reports received by the online police station, there were 70 interventions for suicide cases announced online by citizens identified at the last minute by specialized personnel.