Microsoft teams up with Europol to fight cyber crime

Collaboration entry in dictionary

Microsoft has partnered with two international justice agencies and a payments technology provider to help combat cyber crime.

The collaboration arrangement between the Redmond giant, European Union law enforcement agency Europol, democracy and security promotion entity the Organization of American States (OAS) and payment processing provider FIS, was signed at the company's first Cyber crime Enforcement Summit, which took place earlier in the week.

The alliance will help Microsoft work with each of the three institutions to pursue and ultimately bring down criminal organisations engaged in cyber crime, the company said.

This will be achieved by strengthening their forensic and technological analysis of established malware and botnets, as well as assessing and investigating emerging online threats.

Brad Smith, Microsoft executive vice president and general counsel, said: "Cyber criminals are increasingly sophisticated in preying on consumers, including children and senior citizens.

"These agreements will help the private and public sectors fight cyber crime more effectively, while protecting our customers' privacy."

While this is Microsoft's first collaboration with the OAS, it has previously worked with Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), most recently to take down the ZeroAccess botnet, which had infected an estimated two million computers.

"The ZeroAccess botnet disruption demonstrated the power of our combined efforts as our coordinated approach forced the cyber criminals in this case to walk away from their criminal enterprise," said Europol's assistant director Troels Oerting, who is 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," he added.

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Deputy Editor, primarily covering security, storage and networking for ITPro, CloudPro and ChannelPro.

Jane joined ITPro and CloudPro in July 2012, having previously written freelance for a number of business and finance magazines. She has also covered current affairs, including the student, public sector workers and TUC protests and strikes in central London while studying a Masters in Journalism at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Prior to becoming a journalist, Jane studied Applied Languages at the University of Portsmouth.