Police to double capacity of teams focused on cybercrime

The police are expanding its cybercrime teams with 145 full-time employees. That doubles the capacity of the cybercrime teams, which were established early this year to fight digital crimes like hacking, phishing and ransomware, AD reports.

Each regional police unit and the National Unit now have a cybercrime team. After the expansion, the teams will consist of around 20 police officers each. Deputy police chief Henk van Essen told newspaper AD that these teams symbolize  new way of working for the police. 

"It's great what's happening in those teams", Van Essen said to newspaper AD. "They not only conduct investigations, but also look at phenomena. The team in The Hague for example, focuses on CEO fraud, a smart scam with which millions are stolen. They do this cross-regionally. In this way the build up knowledge that benefits the entire country."

In addition to investigations, the cybercrime teams also focus on prevention - taking malicious software offline. For example, the cybercrime teams worked with colleagues in Australia to tackle the so-called RAT tool, a cheap tool with which you can control computers remotely. The Dutch and Australian police not only hunted the perpetrators, but the cybercrime teams also made sure the program disappeared from the internet. "That is much more effective for the potential victims than handing out prison sentences", Van Essen said. 

The teams also created a website where victims of ransomware can check whether a decryption tool for the type of malware they're infected with is already available, before paying cyber criminals to regain access to their computers.