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European Cybercrime Centre opens to tackle technology threats

09 Jan 2013
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The European Commission (EC) has announced that its European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) will be up and running by the end of the week.

The organisation, which was first announced last year, is designed to help protect businesses from cyber-crime by bringing resources and information from across the continent to a single location at The Hague in the Netherlands.

The Centre will be run by European cross-nation law enforcement agency Europol, with a staff of 40 and an annual €7m budget, drawn from Europol's existing €84m funding.

EU commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström, who will officially open the Centre on 11 January, said bringing resources together to tackle the scourge of cybercrime was a vital step in fighting back against crooks.

"The Cybercrime Centre will give a strong boost to the EU's capacity to fight cybercrime and defend an internet that is free, open and secure," she said.

"Cybercriminals are smart and quick in using new technologies for criminal purposes; the EC3 will help us become even smarter and quicker to help prevent and fight their crimes."

The Centre will focus on several key issues including organised crime relating to e-banking and other financial frauds, as well as attacks on critical infrastructure and information systems.

The focus on financial crimes comes after Europol issued a report this week that found card fraud made criminal gangs an estimated €1.5bn in 2012, underlining the extent of the problem.

The head of the European Cybercrime Centre, Troels Oerting, added that delivering cross-border approach should help all nations better deal with the threats posted by cyber criminals.

"The EC3 is designed to deliver this expertise as a fusion centre, as a centre for operational investigative and forensic support, but also through its ability to mobilise all relevant resources in EU Member States to mitigate and reduce the threat from cybercriminals wherever they operate from", he said.

The EC added that it estimates one million people worldwide fall victim to some form of cybercrime every day, leading to losses of €290bn each year.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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