Achievements and challenges of the fight against cybercrime in Serbia were analyzed by Marija Pavlović, a junior researcher at the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy, in the new prEUgovor policy paper.

Fight Against Cybercrime in Serbia – Achievements and Challenges

Official statistics indicate an increasing trend in the number of cybercrime (CC) cases in Serbia. According to the Report of the National Centre for the Prevention of Security Risks in Information and Communication (ICT) Systems (National CERT), there have been about 26 million cyber attacks on ICT systems of particular significance in Serbia in 2020, of which the most common group of incidents involved attempted intrusions into ICT systems and unauthorised data collection.

Since the beginning of 2022, there have been several attempts to commit Internet fraud and steal the identities and data of users of the Raiffeisen Bank and the Post of Serbia. Threats to journalists via social networks have also become more frequent. The last in the series was the case of mass reports, via e-mail, about bombs planted in various public and private institutions such as hospitals, schools, airports, railway stations, shopping malls, zoological garden and so on. Although the competent authorities have established that the reports were false, they caused worries in the society and temporarily disabled the regular work of the affected institutions.

Cyber attacks have become part of our daily lives and it can be expected that threats made through the Internet and social networks will intensify and become more complicated in the future, which is why it is important that state authorities be prepared to respond to any challenge, risk and threat quickly and effectively, while simultaneously respecting human rights and the rule of law. Cooperation between the state authorities of Serbia and other countries and international organisations such as INTERPOL and EUROPOL will be essential due to the anonymity of the attackers and the cross-border nature of this form of crime.

The Belgrade Centre for Security Policy deals with the topic of cybercrime from the point of view of Serbia’s accession negotiations with the European Union and monitoring the progress in Cluster 1 (Basics), i.e. Chapter 24 (Justice, Freedom, Security). In this context, we will present the achievements in the legal and institutional development of the competent authorities in the fight against cybercrime, i.e. the analysis of current trends and challenges in the fight against this type of crime in Serbia.

The publication is published as part of the project PrEUgovor for Rule of Law and EU integration of Serbia supported by Balkan Trust for Democracy, a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade. Opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent those of the abovementioned donors, or its partners.