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Europol and Interpol reaffirm fight against cyber crime

Europol-Interpol Cybercrime Conference sees No More Ransom anti-ransomware initiative highlighted as successful example of law enforcement agencies’ collaboration

Europol and Interpol have reconfirmed their strong commitment to continue their collaboration in the fight against cyber crime.

At the fifth annual Europol-Interpol Cybercrime Conference in The Hague, the two law enforcement organisations committed to building on successful examples of their cooperation.

These include No More Ransom, an anti-ransomware cross-industry initiative aimed at helping victims of ransomware to recover their data without having to pay a ransom.

In recent years, ransomware has eclipsed most other cyber threats, with global campaigns indiscriminately affecting victims across multiple industries in both public and private sectors.

According to Europol and Interpol, one of the most effective ways to fight ransomware is to prevent it.

Since the launch of the No More Ransom platform in July 2016, more than 1.4 million people have visited the website, which continues to expand and improve its offerings.

The site is now available in 28 languages, with Slovak and Persian the latest additions, according to Raj Samani, Europol adviser and chief scientist at security firm McAfee.

There are now 52 free decryption tools on the site, up from the initial set of seven, Samani told Computer Weekly. These tools can be used to decrypt 84 ransomware families.

McAfee, formerly Intel Security, was a founder member of No More Ransom, along with the Netherlands national police, Europol and Kaspersky Lab in July 2016.

“I am proud of what we have achieved with No More Ransom, but I never expected it to be as popular as it has,” said Samani. “During WannaCry, we had eight million hits in a single day.”

Read more about ransomware

The number of partners working together on No More Ransom has risen to 119, including 37 law enforcement agencies.

The latest agencies to join are Germany’s federal criminal police office, the BKA, and the Polish and Slovakian police.

New private sector partners are Security Advisor SA, Equipo Antiransom, ML IT Security, Temasoft, CERT-PY and the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (Acorn), bringing the total of non-law enforcement partners to 81.

The central theme of this year’s Europol-Interpol Cybercrime Conference was “Actively united for a safer cyber space” to underline the importance of law enforcement, private sector, academia, government and NGOs jointly engaging in the fight against cyber criminals.

In their opening remarks, Europol’s executive director, Rob Wainwright, and EU commissioner Julian King highlighted the need for improved cyber security and resilience and a better joint response to the increasing threats from cyber crime.

In their joint closing statement, Europol and Interpol agreed on specific steps in the joint fight against ransomware, a co-ordinated law enforcement approach to addressing the threat from the dark web, identifying approaches to tackling the threat of cyber crime in a more proactive and efficient manner, and to continue to focus on co-ordinated prevention and awareness initiatives to increase baseline cyber security and nurture the skills and expertise needed to ensure a safer cyber space.

Global response required

Interpol’s cyber crime director, Silvino Schlickmann, said: “The current state of cyber crime, reaching all the corners of the world and threatening to undermine the benefits brought by the new technologies, requires a global response.

“Interpol supports law enforcement to tackle the emerging challenges through a number of channels, providing a global platform including not only communication tools but a wide range of services, from capacity building programmes, to cyber threat intelligence support.

“The cooperation with Europol is one of our highest priorities to combat cyber crime in the most effective way.”

Steven Wilson, head of Europol’s European Cyber Crime Centre (EC3) said the 2017 conference had the highest participation since its inception in 2013.

“In just a few years, this event has become a leading name within the global community of cyber crime fighters,” he said. “With the conference already behind us, it is now time to start working on fulfilling the objectives jointly agreed with Interpol. So, let’s get to work and remain actively united for a safer cyber space.”

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