Europol's European Cybercrime Center (EC3) hosted a Mock Retail Cyber Hack on the 1st of December 2016 in cooperation with MasterCard. The event was held at Europol's headquarters in The Hague. It aimed at simulating a cyber-attack on European merchants and was meant to provide first-hand experience to merchant customers and their acquirers in order to understand the steps to follow in case of a cyber-attack. The goal was also to raise awareness regarding this issue.
The initiative brought together representatives from law enforcement, the retail industry, the banking sector, the forensic investigation field, the Dutch Electronic Crimes Task Force (ECTF) and the Dutch Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT).
Through this training, participants learned what to do, who provides assistance and advice in case a cyber hack occurs. The simulation revealed how to deal with threats such as infiltration to the payment system or denial of service (DoS) attacks.
Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting European merchants, triggering significant financial losses to the industry. Hence Europol's EC3 finds this type of collaborations very efficient to promote best practices to deal with cyber-attacks. At the same time, the affected parties can familiarise with all the actors involved at each step of the investigation.
The Mock Retail Cyber Hack also aims at creating a network of trusted contacts to facilitate information exchange regarding rising cyber threats and, in this way, share ideas to reinforce the cyber security and eliminate these threats. The simulation seeks to iron out the inconsistencies in order to ensure that the e-commerce environment becomes more secure and to discourage criminals to commit cyber hacks in order to prevent financial loses.