Hacking and computer errors, currently mainly a concern in relation to fraud and data loss, could start causing injury and death in the near future with the increasing number of Internet-connected devices in the Internet of Things (IoT) era, according to a Europol report.
The newness of the technology will heighten risks of failure, hacking and human error â€œand history suggests that such technology remains vulnerable for an initial period,â€ the Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment states.
The IoT is also at risk of â€œcommon-mode failures,â€ or failures that result from a single mistake. One such error can affect a large number of potential victims and fixing vulnerabilities could take years to happen.
The cloud is also considered a lucrative platform for hackers, and can make investigations more difficult if the service provider is outside the European Union. â€œThe falling price, global distribution and relative anonymity of cloud services means that criminals are bound to see it as a good platform for mounting criminal activity,â€ the report adds.
Europol says it needs the right tools to combat this new form of cybercrime.
â€œCurrent data retention laws are insufficient for law enforcement,â€ it says. â€œThe majority of intelligence and evidence for cyber investigations comes from private industry. With no data retention, there can be no attribution and therefore no prosecutions. In this context a new EU Directive on data retention, following the European Court of Justiceâ€™s annulment of the existing measure is urgently required.â€