Microsoft and the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) have inked a deal to share threat data when combatting cyber crime, in a bid to help firms defend themselves against malware.
Assistant general counsel of the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit Richard Boscovich announced the partnership blog post, promising it will grant FS-ISAC members "near real-time information on known malware infections affecting more than 67 million unique IP addresses."
Boscovich said, if used with Microsoft services, the threat data will let financial services react more quickly to protect themselves against a variety of threats.
"With this information, FS-ISAC members will be able to quickly identify infected computers on their networks and clean them of malware, through an automated, confidential and secure feed distributed via the cloud with Microsoft Azure," read the post.
"This collaboration will provide valuable intelligence into the global threat landscape affecting the financial services industry, including distributed denial of service attacks and financial botnet attacks. Together, we'll be able to better protect FS-ISAC's members and Microsoft customers from cyber-threats."
The move to freely share its threat data with FS-ISAC members is one of many Microsoft initiatives designed to help improve global cyber security levels.
Microsoft has participated in several information-sharing initiatives with law enforcement to help mount several takedown operations against botnets, including the infamous Citadel and Caphaw, which are believed to have enslaved millions of machines at their peak.
Boscovich listed the takedown operations as proof of the need for increased international collaboration to combat cyber crime.
"We actually know this first hand from our work with the FBI to disrupt the Citadel botnet, which cyber criminals deployed to infect thousands of computers to steal banking information and identities from unwitting victims," he said.
"More recently, we worked with law enforcement in the United Kingdom to disrupt the Caphaw botnet, which targeted banks and their customers in Europe."
The Microsoft announcement comes less than a week after Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the European Banking Federation (EBF), pledging to co-operate when combating cyber threats.
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