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Interpol agreement

The telecoms firm BT reports that it has become the first telecommunications provider to sign a data exchange agreement with the international policing body Interpol, part of efforts to combat cyber-crime.

The accord, signed at the Interpol Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) in Singapore, provides a framework for threat information exchange focusing on data relating to criminal trends in cyber-space, emerging and known cyber-threats and malicious attacks. The mutual data sharing agreement seeks to foster greater co-operation between the two. BT says its threat intelligence staff will provide the IGCI with their insight into the evolving global threat landscape.

BT says that it already collaborates with Interpol and earlier this year was one of seven international companies to provide assistance for an operation to combat cyber-crime in South East Asia. BT’s threat intelligence and investigation team, based at the company’s security operations centre in Singapore, provided information on regional threats, including data relating to local hactivist groups and phishing sites. The wider operation uncovered nearly 9,000 command and control (C2) servers, which are typically used to launch Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks and spread malware, ransomware and spam. Hundreds of compromised websites, including government portals, were also discovered.

Noboru Nakatani, executive director of the IGCI, said: “The scale and complexity of today’s cyber-threat landscape means cooperation across all sectors is essential if we are to effectively combat this global phenomenon. Interpol’s agreement with BT is an important step in our continued efforts to ensure law enforcement worldwide has access to the information they need to combat these evolving cyber threats.”

Mark Hughes, pictured, CEO, BT Security, said: “Threat intelligence sharing between law enforcement agencies and the private sector is essential in the fight against cyber-crime, which is increasingly borderless in nature. Tackling cyber-crime therefore requires a collective, global response where the public and private sectors work hand-in-hand. BT’s security expertise will help Interpol to identify cyber-criminals and hold them to account, as we jointly develop our understanding of the challenges that we and other organisations face in the battle against cyber-attacks.”

The telecoms firm points to a recent KPMG cyber security report commissioned by BT that identified five stages that businesses go through during their journey towards leadership in cyber security. The report concluded that to reach the final stage – True Leadership – businesses must realise that to further strengthen their defences they need to reach out to the wider community by exchanging data and expertise with their peers and public sector organisations.

Meanwhile the fifth Europol-Interpol Cybercrime Conference, attended by more than 420 delegates from 68 countries, ran for three days in late September at The Hague. It focused on the threats and trends in cybercrime; financial aspects; the security of connected devices known as the ‘Internet of Things’; ways to combat ransomware; the criminal abuse of encryption and anonymization; Darknet market sites; access to data and electronic evidence; and domain name server (DNS) abuse.

Silvino Schlickmann, Interpol’s Director of Cybercrime, said: “The current state of cybercrime, 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 cyberthreat intelligence support. Cooperation with Europol is one of our highest priorities to combat cybercrime in the most effective way.”

Speakers included Europol’s Executive Director, Rob Wainwright; and the European Union Commissioner for the Security Union, Sir Julian King.


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