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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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