Microsoft’s Cybercrime Center has reported that earlier this week European law enforcement agencies seized computer servers used by cybercriminals to infect hundreds of thousands of computers around the world with malware designed to steal personal and financial information, as well as money, from unsuspecting consumers.
The multinational effort was led by Europol’s European Cybercrime Center (EC3) and included the participation of agencies from the UK, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, as well as technical assistance from Microsoft, Symantec and AnubisNetworks.
According to David Finn, associate general counsel and executive director of the Microsoft Cybercrime Center, the simultaneous seizure of servers in four countries followed a US lawsuit filed last week under seal in federal court by Microsoft and the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center.
“The operation comes on the heels of a recent report by Kaspersky Labs about a separate attack on financial institutions by cybercriminals, which resulted in the theft of hundreds of millions of dollars,” said Finn. “In both situations, law enforcement and the private sector worked together to protect people online. That’s because the complexity of fighting cybercrime is bigger than any one company or organisation. It requires a diverse set of skills, including sophisticated computer forensics, big data analysis and legal strategy.”
In light of this news, Finn reminds all computer users that they too play a key role in fighting cybercrime. “By taking simple steps like keeping anti-virus software up to date and firewalls turned on, using updated and genuine software, avoiding suspicious links in e-mails, and visiting only trusted and known websites, we each can do our part to keep the internet safe,” he said.
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