Law “may need longer arm” to tackle international cyber gangs, British police chief admits

Bringing the international gang lords of cybercrime to justice is a “challenge”, the interim head of Britain’s new National Cyber Crime Unit has admitted – and says he will discuss the issue with government if necessary.

“The challenge is the international dimension,” Andy Archibald said in an interview with The Register. “The vast majority of those we’re really interested in are overseas and often they’re in hard to reach jurisdictions. So international collaboration, international relationships with trusted partners are key to our success.”

Archibald, who previously worked for Britain’s Serious Organized Crime Agency (labelled “Britain’s FBI in some British media), says that in some areas, British law may need to be tightened up.

“There are improvements that could be done,” Archibald said. “But what I would say first of all is that we need to be confident that we’re making the best use of current legislation. If we are and we still consider that there are gaps, we will discuss that with government.”

Archibald said that the unit had a list of “targets”.

In a recent BBC News report, Archibald said that cybercrime poses unique challenges. Referring to the recent action against the “drug market” Silk Road, he said that the “dark web” will continue to evolve.

“Tor evolves, and will resecure itself,” Mr Archibald said in an interview with the BBC.”The success we’ve had may not necessarily mean that by the same routes and same approaches we can get into other criminal forums.”

“We have to continually probe and identify those forums and then seek to infiltrate them and use other tools. It’s not simply a case of because we were able to infiltrate Tor on this occasion that we’ll be able to do it next time around as well.”

The NCCU has continued to arrest cybercriminals at a rapid rate – targeting drug dealers who used Silk Road, and others.

A 19-year old man was arrested  this week for suspicion of developing and distributing malware and selling services to enable cyber criminals to test their malware.

Steve Pye, Senior Manager of Operations at the NCCU said:”We will lead the national response to cyber crime, focusing activities in particular on those individuals and groups who develop, distribute and deploy the malware that attacks computers and causes harm to business networks and individual users across the UK. The arrest of this individual shows that officers will work relentlessly, 24/7, to ensure that serious and organised criminals are held accountable for their actions”.


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