Online safetyOnline safety

  • Investigators from the Internet Referral Unit (i2-IRU) collaborated on 1 034 cases, including terrorist propaganda and related violent extremist activities on the Internet.
  • Ransomware continues to receive much of the attention of the Federal Computer Crime Unit (FCCU).
  • After an interlude of a few years, the FCCU again organised the training course for the Computer Crime Unit functional certificate.


Internet investigation

The i2-IRU section of the Directorate for Combating Serious and Organised Crime (DJSOC) carries out various missions:

  • Internet investigations;
  • blocking websites and/or content;
  • prevention communication;
  • training, information and sharing of expertise;
  • participation in Europol activities.

This team focuses, inter alia, on terrorist propaganda and related violent extremist activities on the Internet. This mission is part of the Internet Referral Unit set up by Europol (IRU EU). In practical terms, the detected propaganda is made inaccessible in cooperation with the Internet service providers.

In terms of support to the units in 2019, the section provided assistance in 1 034 files, an increase of 120 cases compared to 2018.

1 034 cases
cases
Phenomenon 2019
Terrorism 314
Information 132
Fraud 118
Thefts 91
Suicide attempts 66
Sexual abuse of minors 54
Trafficking in human beings 47
Drugs 40
Public policy 40
Online hate 37
Cybercrimes 31
Weapons 26
Disappearances 23
Hormones 13
Murders 2

Federal Computer Crime Unit

The mission of the Federal Computer Crime Unit (FCCU) is the fight against ICT (Information and Communication Technology) crime, among other things to protect citizens from new forms of crime in the virtual society. This mission also includes supporting the fight against other criminal phenomena through specialised investigations in ICT environments.

In 2019, the FCCU:

 handled 121 cybercrime cases
cybercrime cases
 •	drew up 131 reports relating to the ransomware modus operandi(compared to 171 reports in 2018)
reports relating to the ransomware modus operandi

* The « ransomware » modus operandi consists of fraudulently installing a virus on a device without the knowledge of its owner. The virus keeps the device and the files "hostage" (encrypted) and the scammers demand a ransom.



Training and expertise

Last year, after an interlude of a few years, the FCCU again organised the training course for the Computer Crime Unit functional certificate. Since then, around 60 people have taken the basic module. However, the examinations will not take place until 2021.

In addition, the FCCU made a substantial contribution to several European training projects concerning the dark web. The reactions to the training courses organised under the aegis of the European Police College (CEPOL) — two sessions in which some 60 police colleagues from different European countries took part — were positive.

Finally, the FCCU refined the concept and operation of the Quick Reaction Force. This team is responsible for police intervention within the framework of the cybercrime emergency plan of the Centre for Cybersecurity Belgium (CCB). It is composed of members of both the FCCU and the regional CCUs. Since the creation of the Quick Reaction Force, there have not yet been any incidents meeting the conditions of deployment (moving on to the higher level under the cyber emergency plan).

Online safety

Success story

Hacking tool removed from the web thanks to international police action

An investigation launched by the Australian Federal Police last year resulted in the removal of a dangerous IM-RAT (Imminent Monitor Remote Access Trojan) hacking tool from the web. Once the tool was installed on a computer, cybercriminals were able to take control of the victim's machine. Criminal investigation services estimate that there are tens of thousands of victims. As part of an international police operation, the FCCU successfully conducted three searches on residences of suspects, which ultimately resulted in the seizure of evidence and the preventive detention of the offenders.