Tag Archives: Europol

Europol hosts inaugural ‘Project Diamond’ Conference on jewellery theft and burglary

From Tuesday 17 January to Thursday 19 January, Europol hosted its first international conference on jewellery robbery and burglary under the banner ‘Project Diamond’. SaferGems – a joint initiative established by the British Security Industry Association, T.H. March Insurance Brokers and the National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) – was invited to deliver a presentation at the event, which took place at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague.

‘Project Diamond’ was initially created as a follow-up to ‘Project Pink Panther’, which was initiated by Interpol back in 2007 in an effort to assist law enforcement around the world in apprehending members of the international network of jewellery thieves that had originated from the Western Balkans.

Interpol’s project ended last year, and it was then decided that ‘Project Diamond’ would be more extensive in its focus, targeting criminal networks involved in jewellery robberies and burglaries from Europe as well as the Baltic Sea and Western Black Sea areas.

In attendance were over 70 experts from nearly all of the EU Member States, as well as other representatives from third parties from Europe, Asia and the Americas, including private jewellery and watch companies.

safergemshagueconference

Intelligence officer Lee Henderson represented SaferGems, an initiative sponsored by the NAJ and T.H. March Insurance that co-ordinates data on jewellery crime and facilitates information sharing between jewellers, pawnbrokers and the police. At the event, Henderson delivered a presentation about the background of SaferGems, crime trends and statistics, the SaferGems Watch Register and the initiative’s success stories.

Positive support and feedback

“The presentation was very well received by the experts in attendance and raised many questions from the audience,” stated Henderson. “We also received positive support and feedback from our colleagues that attended on behalf of the Metropolitan Police Service and the West Midlands Police.”

The project comes at a vital time, with the EU facing increased trends in jewellery robbery and burglaries. It has been reported by Europol that these criminals are becoming more violent in their tactics, using heavy vehicles in order to infiltrate jewellery stores and putting the lives of customers and staff at risk.

The aim of the conference was to harness the existing knowledge and expertise of attendees in order to discuss the best ways in which to fight this rising tide of crime.

Given the increased trends in jewellery robbery and burglaries, the conference came at a crucial time and provided SaferGems with an opportunity to share information and intelligence with police officers from the New York Police Department, The Garda, Federal Police Belgium, Organised Crime Finland and Antwerp Diamond District.

Henderson concluded: “As a result of our participation in the conference, law enforcement agencies from across the world are now more aware of the capabilities of the SaferGems initiative and the successes that it continues to have.”

*For more information on the SaferGems initiative visit: https://www.safergems.org.uk/

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News, Uncategorized

Home Secretary praises National Crime Agency on organisation’s first anniversary

During its first year of operation, the National Crime Agency has “broken new ground in the fight against serious and organised crime” and received due praise from Home Secretary Theresa May for doing so.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Serious and Organised Crime Strategy – which was also launched on 7 October 2013 – represent a step change in the Government’s approach to combating serious and organised crime, which is estimated to cost the UK at least £24 billion per annum.

“The National Crime Agency has achieved a great deal in its first year of operation,” stated Theresa May. “Through its close partnership with law enforcement agencies both at home and overseas, the NCA is demonstrating that no-one is beyond its reach.”

The NCA has broken new ground in its investigation of serious and organised crime offences right across the spectrum, including in the area of modern slavery. In its first six months, the organisation achieved over 500 disruptions against serious and organised criminals and secured 300 convictions.

The NCA also co-ordinated a national operation tackling the sharing of child abuse images online. To date, this element of its investigations has resulted in over 600 arrests.

In addition, the NCA has led an international operation designed to tackle malware used for cyber crime and, in parallel, published the National Strategic Assessment – the most authoritative evaluation of the threat to the UK ever put in print.

The National Crime Agency has achieved much in its first year of operation

The National Crime Agency has achieved much in its first year of operation

The NCA is collaborating more closely than ever with law enforcement partners such as HMRC and police forces. Meanwhile, Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCUs) have been strengthened so as to maintain a sophisticated and cohesive regional response to organised crime.

“Now, the NCA needs to build on its strong start and get ahead of the threat,” added the Home Secretary. “This means it must continue to work with a broad range of partners in order to build the best possible intelligence picture and use all of the tools available to disrupt and, importantly, prosecute organised criminals.”

Introduction of the Serious Crime Bill

The new Serious and Organised Crime Strategy is based on the successful framework used for counter-terrorism – Pursue, Prevent, Protect and Prepare – and sets out a comprehensive, detailed cross-Government approach.

As part of this work, the Government has introduced a Serious Crime Bill to ensure that the NCA, the police service and others have the powers they need at their disposal. Measures include the new offence of participation in an organised crime group which targets corrupt lawyers, accountants and other professionals who’ve tried to evade justice by hiding behind a veneer of respectability.

The Government is also building on its success in seizing criminal assets. Over the last four years, around £750 million has been recovered, £93 million returned to victims and in excess of £2.5 billion frozen to put it beyond the reach of criminals.

Measures in the Serious Crime Bill will close loopholes used by criminals to avoid confiscation orders. For example, some criminals attempt to hide money by giving it to third parties such as spouses and associates.

Home Secretary Theresa May MP

Home Secretary Theresa May MP

The Government is committed to working with partners in other European countries – among them Europol and Interpol and also organisations across the private sector – to ensure the UK can act decisively beyond its own borders.

Back in April, the Home Office established a Financial Sector Forum to encourage better information sharing between the Government, law enforcement agencies and the financial services sector and improve the overall response to financial crime.

Tackling the cyber threat

The Government is improving its response to cyber threats by acquiring new technologies and capabilities. For instance, an investment of £860 million is being made over five years through the National Cyber Security Programme. So far, the Home Office has allocated £70 million of that sum to improve law enforcement cyber capabilities.

Last year, the Home Office provided an additional £10 million of funding to the ROCUs, in turn leading to new capabilities that better handle intelligence, protect witnesses and tackle cyber crime and fraud. Further new investments are being made before the end of the year.

“This Government,” continued Theresa May, “has demonstrated considerable progress in the fight against serious and organised crime. After too many years in which organised criminal gangs, their members and their associates ‘got away with it’, we are now sending the clearest possible message. Whoever you are and wherever you are, if you’re involved in organised crime then we will come after you, we will find you, we will prosecute you and we will punish you.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

Europol and Ameripol strengthen co-operation in fight against organised crime

As part of the efforts to enhance law enforcement co-operation in the fight against international organised crime and terrorism, Europol’s director Rob Wainwright has hosted a visit by Juan José Andrade Morales, the president of Ameripol (the Police Community of the Americas).

Both Europol and Ameripol recognise the importance of co-operation and sharing to ensure a more effective approach to combating the common threats faced by the countries within Europe and the Americas.

The visit aimed to build on the existing relationship through focusing on:

• Capacity-building in the American countries to mitigate security threats to/originating from the region
• Fostering strengthened co-operation among the American countries as well as with European/Schengen countries in the area of internal security
• Co-operation resulting in a better understanding and more effective approach to combating the common threats posed by organised crime and terrorism
• Supporting capacity building for co-operation and information exchange among the law enforcement authorities of the Ameripol countries as well as within the wider European security area including EU and Schengen Member States based on European and international standards.

Wainwright and Morales also discussed common efforts to develop regional police bodies in the world as part of a coherent international police co-operation in which Interpol also plays a key role.

Europol's director Rob Wainwright

Europol’s director Rob Wainwright

Following fruitful discussions in The Hague, the Ameripol delegation then had the opportunity to explore Europol’s specialist operational facilities including the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3).

Strengthening international police co-operation

“Europol is proud to be associated with one of its sister organisations in the world,” explained Rob Wainwright, “and welcomes the opportunity to play its part in strengthening international police co-operation.”

In 2010, Europol concluded an operational agreement with its first Latin American partner country, Colombia (also a member of Ameripol). This has been instrumental in developing a new level of co-operation for fighting organised crime such as currency counterfeiting and drug trafficking.

Colombia has therefore been designated by Ameripol as Europol’s point of contact.

During the meeting, President Morales presented Wainwright with a decoration of honour on behalf of Ameripol for his “distinguished services” to police co-operation.

Leave a comment

Filed under IFSECGlobal.com News

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

Leave a comment

Filed under IFSECGlobal.com News

Europol partners with ASIS Europe 2014

ASIS International has announced that Europol is partnering with ASIS Europe 2014.

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.

For its part, the 13th ASIS European Security Conference and Exhibition is a unique end user-focused educational event that’s expected to attract around 500 senior decision-makers – including Chief Security Officers – from all over Europe.

The event will be held on 1-3 April 2014 in The Hague, Netherlands at The World Forum.

Specifics of the agreement

Under the agreement reached between Europol and ASIS, Rob Wainwright (Europol’s director) will be a keynote speaker at ASIS Europe 2014 on Thursday 3 April.

Rob Wainwright: director of Europol

Rob Wainwright: director of Europol

Europol will also give a presentation in the main educational programme focused on counterfeit product and will hold an exhibit space in the exhibition area.

Finally, a professional visit to Europol headquarters will be organised.

Rob Wainwright was appointed director of Europol in April 2009. He’s also currently an active member of the World Economic Forum, primarily on cyber issues.

Prior to joining Europol, Wainwright graduated from the London School of Economics, University of London with a BSc in 1989. He quickly became an intelligence analyst in the UK in the fields of counter-terrorism and organised crime, where he remained for the following ten years.

Since then he has honed his skills in those areas of expertise and, from 2000 to 2009, he has held such key positions as head of the UK Liaison Bureau at Europol, international director of the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) and chief of the International Department of the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).

Wainwright is credited with establishing the international strategy and operational capabilities of the newly-formed agency.

Wide range of security issues

Talking about the event, Radek Havlis CPP (senior regional vice-president of ASIS) said: “ASIS International is delighted with the support a renowned institution such as Europol is lending to ASIS Europe 2014. For many years, ASIS has been the voice of the security profession in Europe, encouraging private-public sectordialogue. We believe that this co-operation will further reinforce our aims.”

The 13th ASIS European Security Conference and Exhibition will cover a wide range of security issues in 33 high-level educational sessions divided over three parallel tracks.

The conference will also feature:

• a Chief Security Officers (CSOs) Round Table Summit organised by the CSO Roundtable of ASIS International
• a Technology and Solutions Theatre specially created for exhibitors to showcase their products, services and expertise to delegates
• unrivalled networking opportunities at the Welcome Reception and at the President’s Reception as well as business lunches and networking breaks

Leave a comment

Filed under IFSECGlobal.com News

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.”

Leave a comment

Filed under IFSECGlobal.com News