Computer crime: Swiss delay | Geneva Tribune

Computer crime: Swiss delay | Geneva Tribune
Computer crime: Swiss delay | Geneva Tribune

Computer crime: Swiss delay

Paolo Bernasconi – Prof., Dr iur. hc

Published today at 10:35 a.m.

What a surprise! Recently, in Switzerland, the number of computer crimes has surpassed the number of thefts. To what extent does the profit made by computer criminals exceed the amount of damage caused by thieves? Burglary requires activity in secret, usually at night, while hacking can be done away from the police, at home. We demand payment in bitcoins to ensure impunity.

It’s been a year since the Transparency International Hub sounded the alarm: “Cryptocurrencies have increasingly become a popular instrument for organized crime.” The same development had already been noted in a Europol report from January 2022.

The same goes for Switzerland according to a report published by the federal police (Fedpol). Bitter conclusion: because of the abuse of cryptocurrencies, the fight against money laundering is back to square number one. Increasingly overwhelming “surprises”: the largest congress in the world, Octopus, in December 2023 in Bucharest, suffered thousands of attacks per second; a Geneva company commissioned by the United Arab Emirates secret service launched aggressive online campaigns; the APT 28 hacker group of the Russian secret services is responsible for espionage and an influence campaign against political parties in Germany and the United States; The world’s largest information spam network, produced in China, continues to flood Western countries.

Reactions? The NIS2 Directive (“Network and InformationSecurity”) will be transposed into national law by each EU Member State by October 2024 at the latest; it strengthens risk management in a constantly changing digital landscape. We are moving from a reactive approach to a proactive strategy by engaging in extensive collaboration to ensure resilience on the part of critical infrastructures. This system affects nearly 600 different types of entities, mid-sized companies, companies listed on the stock exchange, and also including digital suppliers.

NIS2 introduces the legal responsibility of company management and sanctions, the obligation to report and manage incidents as well as the obligation to manage cybersecurity risks. Swiss companies with branches or participating companies in EU member countries will have to comply.

On the repression side, the Council of Europe has improved the application of the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime (ETS N. 185), through a second additional protocol open for signature on May 12, 2022. Each country will be able to obtain the identity of the person having registered a domain name abroad. According to this protocol, all international judicial cooperation can be done in electronic form, also using a system of accelerated disclosure of stored computer data thanks to the establishment of a 24/7 network contact point, without formal request.

This protocol also provides for cooperation by videoconference between authorities from different countries as well as joint investigation teams and joint investigations. Switzerland, with Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino and Panama, has not yet ratified this protocol despite his importance.

For what?

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