SIM-swapping as a cybercrime phenomenon according to Europol’s report “Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA) 2020” and Polish legislation plans

On 5 October 2020 the EU’s law enforcement agency, Europol has published a new report – The Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA) 2020. The report includes information about the latest developments with regard to cross-cutting crime facilitation. It also treats about the challenges related to criminal investigations, cyber-dependent crime, online child sexual exploitation, payment fraud and criminal abuse via the dark web.

The report shows that technological developments make it easier to commit cybercrime. Many modern financial instruments such as cryptocurrencies, for example, make it possible to pay for various forms of crime online. Recently the key trend seems to be sim-swapping.

What is sim-swapping?

Sim-swapping is a cybercrime. This is a type of account takeover fraud that generally targets a weakness in two-factor authentication and two-step verification in which the second factor or step is a text message (SMS) or call placed to a mobile telephone.  


Legal status of e-cigarettes in Poland

What is e-cigarette? Legal definition by describing the functionality of the device

In accordance with the Polish Act of 22 July 2016 amending the Polish Act on Health Protection from the Effects of Tobacco and Tobacco Products, electronical cigarette is a device that can be used to ingest nicotine-containing vapor via a mouthpiece, or all components of that device, including cartridges, tanks and devices without a cartridge or tank. Electronic cigarettes may be disposable or refillable with a refillable cartridge or tank or rechargeable with a disposable cartridge.onet

The amended definition of “tobacco product” in Art. 2(48) of the Act, however, does not allow for an electronic cigarette to be considered a tobacco product. In the current wording of the Act, a tobacco product is a product intended for consumption by consumers and composed, even in part, of tobacco, including genetically modified tobacco. Importantly, the definition of ‘tobacco’ in Art. 2(36) of the Act unambiguously defines it as leaves or other natural parts of plants, excluding from the scope of this concept extracts used in e-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes cannot be classified as tobacco products within the meaning of Art. 2 (48) and should therefore be referred to as other regulated products. This position is reflected in the provisions of the act in question, which in many provisions clearly distinguish tobacco products from electronic cigarettes, while introducing similar restrictions on marketing or use of both types of products.

Bringing in regulations on e-cigarettes


Using algorithms inspired by ants’ behaviour in autonomous vehicles and the legal status of driverless vehicles in Poland

As autonomous cars become an increasingly interesting transport alternative, there will be a growing need for artificial intelligence applications to prevent traffic congestion and accidents. In simplest terms, this could mean that driverless cars will need to communicate and work together. That is why researchers see some promise in preventing both traffic jams and collisions by learning from ants, which are social insects.

What it is and what is the purpose and use of the Ant Colony Optimization?

Ant colony optimisation (ACO) was proposed in the early 1990s by Italian researcher Marco Dorigo. During his PhD thesis, he aimed to search for an optimal path in a graph based on the behaviour of ants searching for a path between the colony and a food source. The basic premise of the ant algorithm is to mimic the behaviour of ant colonies found in the real world. In contrast, their counterparts in digital reality are generated ants that will make limited evaluations of alternative options in the decision-making process. [1] To understand this phenomenon we need to delve into what “swarm intelligence” is. It is actually the collective behavior of any set of decentralized, self-organizing systems that are natural or artificial. It is now commonly used to describe work on artificial intelligence. Swarm intelligence refers to a general set of algorithms. How are such algorithms developed?  Based on observations of animal behavior in the wild. This may be direct observation, as was the case in the development of the ant colony optimization algorithm, or it may result from analysis of data from other scientific papers describing the social behavior of selected animal species.[2]

How do we translate this into practice for autonomous cars?


America’s Seed Fund National Science Foundation – Possibilities of obtaining foreign seed capital for Polish technology start-ups

What is seed capital?

Seed capital funds handle with financial support for enterprises at an early stage of development or newly created enterprises (start-ups). This is due to the fact that novice entrepreneurs, when starting their adventure with business, have limited resources to implement innovative ideas – one may even be tempted to say that the only capital is their project. The aforementioned funds not only make their resources available, but also offer substantive support, e.g. in the field of introducing the product to the market. In return, investors receive shares in this company, the purpose of which is to commercialize a new product or service.

How to get seed capital effectively?

Obtaining this type of financing is not an easy operation, as evidenced by strong statistics – on average 6 out of 10 entrepreneurs fail, despite the initial enthusiasm of investors and the vision of earning much more money. Putting aside such pessimistic statistics, a person looking for the attention of business people, should first have a solid and substantive business plan that will contain the most accurate descriptions of his vision, along with ideas for development after receiving funding. When this key condition is met, the stage of negotiations with potential investors takes place. They are aimed at defining the structure, financing conditions and its costs. The entirety of this long and complicated project ends with the signing of an investment agreement.


The EU’s new MiCA regulation on crypto-assets

As the market for cryptocurrencies and crypto-assets is growing at a frenetic pace, last year there were many discussions in the European Union about the rules and regulations related to them. On September 24, 2020 the European Commission has issued an important project affecting the Market of Crypto-assets in the European Union, namely the Proposal for the REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on Markets in Crypto-assets, and amending Directive (EU) 2019/1937.

What is the purpose of the proposal?

Due to the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies, there has occurred a need for increased regulatory scrutiny. There are different approaches to cryptocurrencies around the world regarding government regulations. The regulations in the new draft are designed to protect consumers from cyber-attacks, theft or malfunction on cryptocurrency exchanges. What is surprising – despite the emphasis on increased scrutiny and protection, the regulation does not mention a requirement for mandatory insurance against, for example, loss of assets due to fraud or cyber-attack.