ZAGREB, November 28, 2018 – Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović told a conference on the security of information systems on Wednesday that cyber crime in Croatia was the fastest growing security challenge and that it was particularly worrying that cyber competence and skills and the use of personal information on social networks can cause crises of international proportions, due to, among other things, the influencing of election outcomes.
“This is a new type of warfare – cyber warfare, which is silent, invisible and of which most people are unaware,” Božinović said.
The gravity of the situation is best evidenced by data from 2016, when European citizens fell victim to more than two billion cases of data theft; more than 4,000 ransomware attacks occurred every day and 20% of industrial computers in the EU were attacked every month, he said.
A recent survey shows that the number of more significant cyber incidents in the first quarter of this year was 32% up from the same period of 2017, said Božinović.
Currently, phishing is very popular, with perpetrators trying to get hold of citizens’ personal data in order to use them to exact payments that are difficult to recover, the minister said.
He noted that so-called CEO fraud attacks were an increasingly present type of cyber crime, with fraudsters claiming to be high-ranking bank or company officials that lure victims into paying a certain amount of money into a false account or making an unauthorised payment from a business account.
Božinović recalled that citizens and members of the business community were not the only ones to be targeted by cyber criminals because they also targeted states and important state institutions, which, he said, was what happened in Estonia in 2007, in Croatia in the past few years, and recently in Ukraine.
“I am talking about attacks that use psychological manipulation to disseminate disinformation, fake news and rumors and are designed to undermine citizens’ trust in state institutions. Lately, we have not been spared fake news either, and in an attempt to nip this dangerous social phenomenon in the bud, Croatian police earlier this month filed a report for dissemination of fake and alarming news about migrants,” said Božinović.
He stressed that cyber security had become a security priority and a decisive factor of development of the society and state in all their segments.
Božinović said that in terms of information, access to the Schengen information system was of great importance for Croatia, and recalled that cooperation with many countries outside the EU, such as the USA and Israel, and their specialised agencies, had been stepped up.
For more on cyber crime in Croatia, click here.