Microsoft goes on the attack with global Cybercrime Center

Microsoft has opened a new Cybercrime Center – a war room where the tech giant’s lawyers and security experts will use bleeding-edge technology and industry expertise to battle crime online.

The Cybercrime Center will cooperate with law enforcement, academia, industry and NGOs – and focus on child exploitation, IP crimes and malware, in particular botnets.

The Center will have 100 staff based around the world, and law enforcement will be able to use the facilities 24/7, The Register reports.

The Center will also cooperate with Interpol on international crimes, according to The Register’s report, which described the facility as resembling “CSI: Hackers”.

“The Microsoft Cybercrime Center is where our experts come together with customers and partners to focus on one thing: keeping people safe online,” said David Finn, associate general counsel of the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, in Microsoft’s statement. “By combining sophisticated tools and technology with the right skills and new perspectives, we can make the Internet safer for everyone.”

The Center is located on Microsoft’s Redmond campus, according to Windows Phone Central and includes what Microsoft describes as “groundbreaking” technologies, including SitePrint, a tool for mapping organized crime networks, and PhotoDNA, a tool for fighting child pornography.

A separate area of the Cybercrime Center will allow cybersecurity experts from third-party companies to lend their expertise, including academics and experts from industry.

“In the fight against cybercrime the public sector significantly benefits from private sector expertise, such as provided by Microsoft,” said Noboru Nakatani, executive director of the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation.

“The security community needs to build on its coordinated responses to keep pace with today’s cybercriminals. The Microsoft Cybercrime Center will be an important hub in accomplishing that task more effectively and proactively.”

Microsoft also presented a consumer-friendly introduction to the work of its Digital Crimes Unit, which will staff the Cybercrime Center. A story entitled Digital Detectives begins, “Last year, an army of five million zombie computers began taking marching orders from an Eastern European cybercriminal kingpin.These computers weren’t in a dank warehouse or an abandoned strip mall, but in homes and offices across 90 countries.”

“The infected PCs belonged to a vast array of unwitting users who detected nothing out of the ordinary. Meanwhile, when its malevolent creators issued the command, the zombie army lurched to life…”

Want to know what happened next? Read We Live Security’s thrilling account of Microsoft’s battle against a $500m botnet here.

Author Rob Waugh, We Live Security

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