Microsoft announced three new global partnerships with the Organization of American States, Europol and FIS to increase cooperation between international law enforcement and the private sector in combatting cybercrime and helping build a safer Internet.
Microsoft officials signed memorandums of understanding with representatives of the three organizations during the company’s first annual Cybercrime Enforcement Summit, which brought together more than 60 leaders and experts from law enforcement, academia and the private sector to share legal and technical solutions to confront the global spread of cybercrime. The conference follows the opening last fall of the Microsoft Cybercrime Center, a state-of-the-art facility designed specifically to advance the global fight against cybercrime.
The agreements establish a framework for cooperation and are intended to spur collaboration and help Microsoft work with each of the three organizations to pursue criminal enterprises engaged in cybercrime. Microsoft, the OAS, Europol and FIS anticipate that the collaboration will enable them to strengthen their forensic and technical analysis of malware and botnets; assessment and investigation of emerging malware threats; enforcement actions against cybercriminals; and the ultimate dismantling of these criminal organizations.
“Cybercriminals are increasingly sophisticated in preying on consumers, including children and senior citizens,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft executive vice president and general counsel. “These agreements will help the private and public sectors fight cybercrime more effectively, while protecting our customers’ privacy.”
Microsoft is excited to mark its first collaboration with the Organization of American States. The OAS was established in part to strengthen collaboration among its member states, which currently includes all 34 independent states of the Americas. OAS is committed to developing a culture of cybersecurity by taking effective, preventative measures to anticipate, address and respond to cyberattacks.
“There are no borders when it comes to cybercrime, and the criminals are located worldwide, making it impossible for any one organization to fight cybercrime alone,” said OAS Ambassador Adam Blackwell. “We must harness the power of partnerships to have a greater impact against these criminals and keep the Internet safer for everyone.”
Microsoft often collaborates with law enforcement organizations. One example is the recent partnership with Europol to successfully disrupt the dangerous ZeroAccess botnet, which infected up to 2 million computers and stole millions of dollars from online advertisers. Europol, which boasts its own European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) based at Europol headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands, has supported numerous major cybercrime operations involving malicious software and online child exploitation. Today’s agreement solidifies Europol’s commitment to continue providing targeted and effective approaches to combat cybercrime in Europe.
“The ZeroAccess botnet disruption demonstrated the power of our combined efforts as our coordinated approach forced the cybercriminals in this case to walk away from their criminal enterprise,” said 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.”
Financial crimes in particular pose a serious cybersecurity threat. As the world’s largest provider of financial technology, FIS is on the front lines of the fight to maintain cybersecurity of payments and financial transactions worldwide. By signing this MOU, FIS is taking another step on behalf of its financial institution clients to help protect them against cybercrime.
“This partnership with Microsoft will help FIS to better protect its clients from cybercrime and make global financial transactions safer for our clients and their customers,” said Greg Montana, EVP and chief risk officer, FIS. “We’re pleased to partner with companies like Microsoft, which are taking aggressive action to address cybercrime at every opportunity. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Microsoft.”