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Microsoft strengthens cybercrime-fighting partnership with Europe

13 Feb 2014

Microsoft has promised to work even closer with key European law agencies as part of its efforts to disrupt and dismantle cybercrime networks.

Microsoft signed a memorandum of understanding with Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) department, promising to boost collaboration on forensic and technical analysis of malware and botnets.

The firm signed the deal at its first Cybercrime Enforcement Summit, attended by 60 leaders from law enforcement, academia and the private sector to discuss new approaches to tackling cybercrime.

Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, said the deals underlined the firm's determination to take the fight to cyber criminals.

“Cyber criminals are increasingly sophisticated in preying on consumers, including children and senior citizens,” he said. “These agreements will help the private and public sectors fight cybercrime more effectively, while protecting our customers’ privacy.”

Work between Europol and Microsoft has proven successful in the past, with the takedown of the ZeroAccess botnet in December cited by Europol’s assistant director Troels Oerting, who is in charge of EC3.

“This kind of collaboration is the new model needed to attack cybercrime, and that is why we’re committed to working with Microsoft so we can take more aggressive action in the future.”

EC3 celebrated its first anniversary last week, as it seeks to protect European firms and individuals from cyber threats. It recently warned of the evolving use of police ransomware.

While botnet takedowns are a good way of disrupting criminals and grabbing the headlines, some within the security community have questioned its effectiveness and argued that looking to arrest those behind the botnets is a better approach.

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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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