Looking like something out of Bruce Wayne’s basement at Wayne Manor, Microsoft took the wraps off its new Cybercrime Center on Thursday. Located on the mega-firm’s Redmond compound, the Microsoft Cybercrime Center aims to be a central hub for combating the tech world’s ills, from malware to cyber bullying and more.
Microsoft describes the Cybercrime Center as a “world-class laboratory where a seasoned team of cybercrime investigators engage in a high-stakes game of chess, trying to stay a move or two ahead of the world’s most odious Internet criminals in an effort to make the web a safer place.”
So how serious are the threats of cyber crime, malware and the like? Here’s what David Finn, associate general counsel for Microsoft, had to say.
““There are nearly 400 million victims of cybercrime each year. And cybercrime costs consumers $113 billion per year,” Finn says. “We understand that there’s no one single country, business or organization that can tackle cyber security and cybercrime threats alone. That’s why we invest in bringing partners into our center – law enforcement agencies, partners and customers – into this center to work right alongside us.”
The Microsoft Cybercrime Center takes on a wide range of threats, from the Citadel botnet, to child pornography, to your run of the mill malware. While the center’s reach looks to be wide in scope, Microsoft has narrowed its focus to two particular cybercrime hotspots: Russia and Ukraine.
“Most of this is the orchestration of a criminal gang there, and there are no malware attacks there because when they wrote the code for their botnet, they wrote it so it doesn’t run on Ukrainian or Russian language software,” Finn says. “The bad guys knew that would significantly insulate them from law enforcement in their own country. It also illustrates why it’s important to have a global force against cybercrime.”
Now armed with the Microsoft Cybercrime Center, Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel and executive vice president of Legal and Corporate Affairs, thinks that Microsoft will take the lead to spearhead global efforts to beat back cyber criminals.
“We’re defining a new field,” Smith says. “And we’re using our software, our data, our cloud services, and our devices to help do that.”
We’re left wondering whether we should be putting together something akin to a Microsoft-branded Batsignal.