Tag Archives: EC3

Expert international cyber crime task force determined to tackle online criminality

The Joint Cyber Crime Action Task Force (J-CAT) has been launched to further strengthen the fight against cyber crime in the European Union and beyond.

Hosted at the European Cyber Crime Centre (EC3) at Europol, the J-CAT (which is being piloted for six months) will co-ordinate international investigations with partners working side-by-side to take action against key cyber crime threats and top targets, such as underground forums and malware (and including banking Trojans).

The J-CAT will be led by Andy Archibald, deputy director of the National Cyber Crime Unit from the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA).

The J-CAT was initiated by Europol’s EC3, the EU Cyber Crime Task Force, the FBI and the NCA and comprises a team composed of cyber liaison officers from committed and closely involved Member States, non-EU law enforcement partners and EC3. Key contributors to the intelligence pool will be the EU Member States via EC3 as well as other law enforcement co-operation partners.

Thus far, Austria, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and the US are part of the J-CAT. Australia and Colombia have also committed to the initiative.

J-CAT has been launched to fight the scourge of cyber crime

J-CAT has been launched to fight the scourge of cyber crime

Multi-lateral approach to the issue

Troels Oerting, head of the European Cyber Crime Centre, stated: “This is a good day for those fighting cyber crime in Europe and beyond. For the first time in modern police history, a multi-lateral permanent cyber crime task force has been established in Europe to co-ordinate investigations against top cyber criminal networks. The Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce will operate from secure offices in Europol’s headquarters assisted by experts and analysts from the European Cyber Crime Centre.”

Oerting added: “The aim is not purely strategic, but also very operational. The goal is to prevent cyber crime, to disrupt it, catch crooks and seize their illegal profits. This is a first step in a long road towards an open, transparent, free but also safe Internet. The goal cannot be reached by law enforcement alone, but will require a consolidated effort from many stakeholders in our global village. The J-CAT will do its part of the necessary ‘heavy-lifting’. That work has already started. I’m confident we will see practical and tangible results very soon.”

Andy Archibald said: “There are many challenges faced by law enforcement agencies with regards to cyber criminals and cyber attacks. This is why there needs to be a truly holistic and collaborative approach taken when tackling them. The J-CAT will bring together a coalition of countries across Europe and beyond to co-ordinate the operational response to the common current and emerging global cyber threats faced by J-CAT members.”

In conclusion, Archibald stressed: “This is a unique opportunity for international law enforcement agencies to collectively share our knowledge aimed at defending against cyber-related attacks. The UK’s National Crime Agency is proud to be a founding member.”

Rapid rise in major international cases

EC3 is involved in cross-border cyber crime investigations and has seen a rapid increase in major international cases. The J-CAT aims to add significant value to international law enforcement co-operation, and to maximise the effectiveness of joint and co-ordinated actions.

Cyber crime affects citizens, businesses and Governments regardless of their national borders or jurisdictions. Police forces across the world face similar crimes and criminal targets. For that reason, more than with any other type of crime, it’s crucial to share intelligence and align priorities.

The J-CAT affords the possibility of addressing the most impactful crimes affecting many states in a joint, well-concerted manner and with the assistance of EC3.

The J-CAT will gather data on specific criminal themes from national repositories and from relevant Government and private partners, as well as transforming this raw data into actionable intelligence and proposing targets and networks for investigations. It will cover all relevant areas including malware coding, testing, distribution, Botnets, Crime-as-a-Service, online fraud, intrusion and similar top-end crimes.

In addition, it will organise dedicated consultation meetings with key actors in the private sector and the Computer Emergency Response Teams for the EU institutions, bodies and agencies (CERT-EU) to obtain their input on cyber crime threats that affect them and society in general.

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Europol and Microsoft enter new global partnerships in fight against cyber crime

Microsoft Corp has announced three new global partnerships with the Organisation of American States (OAS), Europol and FIS to increase co-operation between international law enforcement and the private sector in combating cyber crime and helping to build a safer Internet.

Microsoft officials signed Memorandums of Understanding with representatives of the three organisations during the company’s first annual Cybercrime Enforcement Summit, which brought together more than 60 leaders and experts from law enforcement, academia and the private sector to share legal and technical solutions aimed at confronting the global spread of cyber crime.

The conference follows on from the opening of the Microsoft Cybercrime Center, a state-of-the-art facility designed specifically to advance the global fight against cyber crime.

The agreements establish a framework for co-operation and are intended to spur collaboration and help Microsoft work with each of the three organisations to pursue criminal enterprises engaged in cyber crime.

Microsoft, the Organisation of American States, Europol and FIS anticipate that the collaboration will enable them to strengthen their forensic and technical analysis of malware and botnets, improve the assessment and investigation of emerging malware threats, enhance enforcement actions against cyber criminals and ultimately dismantle these criminal organisations.

Microsoft Corp has announced three new global partnerships with the Organisation of American States, Europol and FIS

Microsoft Corp has announced three new global partnerships with the Organisation of American States, Europol and FIS

Preying on consumers

“Cyber criminals are increasingly sophisticated in preying on consumers, including children and senior citizens,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft’s executive vice-president and general counsel. “These agreements will help the private and public sectors fight cyber crime more effectively while also protecting our customers’ privacy.”

Microsoft is excited to mark its first collaboration with the Organisation of American States. The OAS was established in part to strengthen collaboration among its member states, which currently includes all 34 independent states of the Americas.

The OAS is committed to developing a ‘culture of cyber security’ by taking effective, preventative measures to anticipate, address and respond to cyber attacks.

“There are no borders when it comes to cyber crime,” said OAS ambassador Adam Blackwell. “The criminals are located worldwide, making it impossible for any single organisation to fight cybercrime alone.”

Blackwell added: “We must harness the power of partnerships to have a greater impact against these criminals and keep the Internet safer for everyone.”

Microsoft often collaborates with law enforcement organisations. One example is the recent partnership with Europol to successfully disrupt the dangerous ZeroAccess botnet, which infected up to 2 million computers and stole millions of dollars from online advertisers.

Europol (which boasts its own European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) based at Europol headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands) has supported numerous major cyber crime operations involving malicious software and online child exploitation. This latest agreement solidifies Europol’s commitment to continue providing targeted and effective approaches to combat cyber crime in Europe.

“The ZeroAccess botnet disruption demonstrated the power of our combined efforts as our co-ordinated approach forced the cyber criminals in this case to walk away from their criminal enterprise,” said Europol’s assistant director Troels Oerting, who’s in charge of EC3.

“This kind of collaboration is the new model needed to attack cyber crime, and that is why we’re committed to working with Microsoft so we can take more aggressive action in the future.”

Financial crime: a serious cyber security threat

Financial crimes in particular pose a serious cyber security threat. As the world’s largest provider of financial technology, FIS is on the front line of the fight to maintain the cyber security of payments and financial transactions worldwide.

By signing this MoU, FIS is taking another step on behalf of its financial institution clients to help protect them against cyber crime.

“This partnership with Microsoft will help FIS to better protect its clients from cyber crime and make global financial transactions safer for our clients and their customers,” said Greg Montana, EVP and chief risk officer at FIS.

“We’re pleased to partner with companies like Microsoft which are taking aggressive action to address cyber crime at every opportunity. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Microsoft.”

More information about Microsoft’s efforts to fight cybercrime and the new Microsoft Cybercrime Center can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/news/presskits/dcu

About the Organisation of American States

The Organisation of American states is the world’s oldest regional organisation, dating back to the First International Conference of American States held in Washington DC from October 1889 to April 1890.

Today, the OAS brings together all 34 independent states of the Americas and constitutes the main political, juridical and social governmental forum in the Hemisphere.

In addition, it has granted permanent observer status to 67 states as well as to the European Union (EU).

About Europol

Europol is the European Union’s law enforcement agency whose main goal is to help achieve a safer Europe for the benefit of all EU citizens.

It does this by assisting the European Union’s Member States in their fight against serious international crime and terrorism.

About FIS

FIS is the world’s largest global provider dedicated to banking and payments technologies. With a long history deeply rooted in the financial services sector, FIS serves more than 14,000 institutions in over 110 countries.

Headquartered in Jacksonville, FIS employs more than 39,000 people worldwide and holds leadership positions in payment processing and banking solutions, providing software, services and outsourcing of the technology that drives financial institutions.

First in financial technology, FIS tops the annual FinTech 100 list, is 434 on the Fortune 500 and a member of Standard & Poor’s 500® Index.

For more information about FIS visit: http://www.fisglobal.com

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.

For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft visit the Microsoft News Centre at: http://www.microsoft.com/news

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Europol appoints McAfee’s Raj Samani as cybercrime advisor at EC3

The EU’s law enforcement agency, Europol, has announced the appointment of Raj Samani (EMEA CTO at McAfee) to the role of cybercrime advisor at its European Cybercrime Centre (EC3).

Based in The Hague in the Netherlands, EC3 officially began its activities on 1 January this year with a mandate to tackle several key areas of cybercrime.

It aims to become the focal point in the EU’s fight against criminal activity online through building operational and analytical capacity for investigations and co-operation with international partners in the pursuit of an EU free from cybercrime.

Raj Samani: Chief Technology Officer for the EMEA at McAfee

Raj Samani: Chief Technology Officer for the EMEA at McAfee

Raj Samani will now lend his expertise to EC3 in this formal capacity alongside his full-time role as Chief Technology Officer for EMEA at McAfee, the world’s largest dedicated security technology company.

Key objectives Raj will fulfil within the cybercrime advisory role include providing advice on the latest cybercrime trends across the globe and advising on technological advancements that can better serve Europol in its fight against cybercrime.

Samani commented: “Cybercrime is a global issue that demands a stronger public-private sectorpartnership. I’m honoured to be offering my assistance to the excellent work conducted by the team at EC3.”

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