FBI and Soca need help


FBI and Soca need help

Warwick Ashford

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the UK Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) have called for greater collaboration with the IT security industry in fighting cybercrime.

"A partnership with the [IT security] industry is important," Keith Mularski, supervisory special agent in the FBI's cyber unit told delegates at the RSA Conference Europe 2009 in London.

"We have to work together because cybercrime is a global threat that is bigger than any single law enforcement organisation," he said.

Greater involvement with the IT security industry is part of an international effort by law enforcement agencies like the FBI and Soca to promote and speed up information sharing.

"Sharing information in real time will help law enforcement to become more proactive in tackling this problem," Mularski said.

International law enforcement agencies are working to bring down internal and external barriers to communication, he said, claiming that "great strides" had been made.

Andy Auld, head of intelligence, e-crime department, Soca says collaboration with the FBI has given each better access to and understanding of each other's partner countries and allies.

"The US, UK, Germany, Netherlands and Australia have all joined forces to form a taskforce to tackling this international problem," said Auld.

The taskforce is sharing resources and target lists, he said, to fast track operations to infiltrate groups, identify attack methods, invalidate stolen data and stop criminal digital money exchanges.

"By targeting stores of stolen data, we are attacking cybercriminals' profitability by damaging their reputation as suppliers of valid data," said Auld.

Targeting criminal money exchanges is aimed at eliminating the current mechanism use for untraceable, irrevocable cash flows in the underground economy, he said.

Despite advances, Auld and Mularski said there is a need for much greater interaction at national and international levels, which must include the IT security industry and security professionals.

They both see collaboration as the only effective way of fighting criminals who are working collaboratively to provide sophisticated and organised support in the underground economy.

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