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Computer-related criminal damage reaches all-time peak, according to LKA.

The State Office of Criminal Investigation (LKA) provides insights into the world of cybercrime with their latest report. It suggests that the ongoing conflict in Ukraine is causing confusion between criminal entities and state actors.

An employee of the Baden-Württemberg Cybercrime Center sits at a workstation (staged scene).
An employee of the Baden-Württemberg Cybercrime Center sits at a workstation (staged scene).

Last year, computer crimes in North Rhine-Westphalia caused more damage than ever before, reaching a whopping €26.9 million. This according to a recent report by the State Criminal Police Office (LKA). That's about €2.7 million more than the year before.

The report reveals that the LKA looked into cases of computer fraud and software piracy, but doesn't have a specific category for cybercrime extortions. They also mentioned that successful extortions are rarely reported. However, a new kind of cybercrime has come to the forefront due to the Ukraine war - ransomware attacks by state-acting institutions posing as criminal groups.

The line between politically motivated cyber attacks and regular cybercrime property crimes can often be blurry. Some hacker groups expressed their support for Russia at the start of the war, seeing Germany as a direct target. The LKA warns that these stealthy, politically motivated cyber attacks from foreign organizations and states will continue to be a major challenge for German security agencies in the coming years.

There were 29,667 cases of cybercrime in 2022, a 1.49% decrease from the previous year's tally of 30,115. The most common crimes were computer fraud and data snooping. Fewer cases were cleared last year (25.84%) compared to the year before (26.63%) and they identified 6,623 suspects, up from 6,056. Most of the suspects were male.

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  1. Despite the decrease in overall cybercrime cases in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) in 2022, the maximum value of computer-related damages reached a record high, surpassing the €26 million mark for the first time.
  2. The increase in computer crimes in NRW, including Internet-related offenses in cities like Düsseldorf, showcases the importance of addressing digital security, as the situation picture continues to be challenging for authorities.
  3. International concerns, such as ransomware attacks on Ukraine, have raised awareness about the high stakes of computer crimes, as these crimes often have unintended consequences, potentially affecting local communities in NRW.
  4. The State Criminal Police Office (LKA) in NRW warns that the maximum value of computer-related damages can be influenced by new forms of cybercrime, including state-acting institutions posing as criminal groups, which can lead to significant financial loss.
  5. In light of the continuing rise of computer crimes and the need to prevent damages, local authorities and LKA in North Rhine-Westphalia are working closely to improve their monitoring and respond effectively to all types of computer crimes, protecting both individuals and businesses from cyber threats.



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