InterCOP: An international collaboration against cybercrime

The official kick-off of InterCOP started on June 15, 2023. After a conference in Lisbon, which was organized by a Dutch unit, 27 countries, including the Netherlands, have decided to work together against online cybercrime. The name means: International Cybercrime Offender Prevention. The purpose of this collaboration is to exchange knowledge. But also preventing cybercrime by sketching profiles of young people who may go wrong.

What is cybercrime and what will InterCOP do about online crime? You can read it in this article.

What exactly does Cybercrime mean?

Cybercrime are crimes that take place online. These can be different things. A common one is placing a virus on someone’s computer. A virus disrupts the operation of the computer, which can damage the computer or delete files. Another common cybercrime is phishing, in which the offenders go ‘fishing’, as it were, for personal data. This is often disguised as an email from the bank, where you have to fill in certain information or a call where they try to get your pin code.

But cybercrime can also happen on a much larger scale, for example with a DDoS attack. Hackers ensure that the servers of an agency become completely overloaded, making them unusable. Placing a virus or getting someone’s personal information is quite harmless compared to a DDoS attack, in that it often targets a single person and involves a relatively small sum of money. A DDoS attack can cause much more damage and hackers can get a lot of money for this.

What will InterCOP do?

InterCOP will, among other things, be involved in the prevention of cybercrime. The danger with cybercrime is that young people who are new to this world almost never get the chance to be stopped. It is very difficult to do something with small and innocent pranks like hacking someone’s mail. Often young offenders can therefore do anything without realizing the consequences, until it is too late and they have committed a bigger crime.

That is why InterCOP will also collaborate with two well-known interventions. The first, re_BOOTCMP, is an intervention that invests in IT talent retention. It ensures that young people actually make good use of what they can do with a computer instead of entering the cybercrime world. The second intervention is Hack_Right. With this, the police are trying to get ‘first offenders’, young people who have committed a crime for the first time, but who have been caught, to get back on the right track and to keep them here. This is done in addition to the criminal procedure that is being followed.

A cybercriminal can cause a lot of damage. In short, stopping these criminals is of great importance. The Netherlands and the United Kingdom have always been pioneers in the fight against cybercrime, but now countries such as Brazil and the United States can also work towards a world without cybercrime. By encouraging young people to stay on the straight and narrow, to sketch profiles to counter offenders earlier and to exchange knowledge, InterCOP will be an important step in the fight against cybercrime.

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