Europol head of cybercrime says borders pose challenge to police.
Only "around 100" kingpins are behind the all the world’s cybercrime, according to the head of Europol’s cybercrime centre, Troels Oerting.
"We roughly know who they are. If we can take them out of the equation then the rest will fall down," he said in an interview with the BBC.
"Criminals no longer come to our countries, they commit their crimes from a distance and because of this I cannot use the normal tools to catch them," he added. "I have to work with countries I am not used to working with and that scares me a bit."
Oerting believes that the majority of the cybercrime kingpins are located in the Russian-speaking world, where several large hacking incidents are thought to have originated, including the GameOver Zeus botnet that was taken down by international police over this year.
The police chief said that relations with Russian police were improving, and that he had recently travelled to Moscow to discuss four cybercrime cases that will hopefully lead to arrests and jail sentences.
In later remarks he also discussed the public debate over privacy, in criticisms similar to those made by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director James Comey against Silicon Valley’s improving privacy measures.
"There is confusion among the good guys on the internet between anonymity and privacy. I don’t think they are the same," Oerting said. "I think that you have right to privacy but that doesn’t mean that you have the right to anonymity.
"Imagine in the physical world if you were not able to open the trunk of a car if you had a suspicion that there were weapons or drugs inside… we would never accept this."