Trend Micro Signs National Crime Agency Partnership Deal

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The two organisations are to work more closely together on tackling specific cyber-threats

IT security firm Trend Micro said it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Crime Agency (NCA) that will see the formation of a closer working relationship with the law enforcement body.

The NCA leads the UK’s actions against serious and organised crime, and the deal is a sign of the increasing attention being paid to cyber-crime in the law enforcement world.

Virtual team

police handcuff security crime keyboard © Oleksiy Mark ShutterstockUnder the terms of the agreement Trend and the NCA will form a cross-organisation virtual team that will work on new ways of addressing specific cyber-crime threats, and will share information on attacks. Trend’s Forward Looking Threat Research (FTR) team is to work with the NCA to share intelligence for potential law-enforcement action.

The two organisations already work together, but until now information-sharing has been on an informal, ad-hoc basis, Trend said.

“Nowadays law enforcement can’t always do cyber crime investigations on its own and neither can industry,” said Robert McArdle, EMEA manager for FTR at Trend Micro, in a statement. “We’re both parts of the same puzzle.”

The NCA said the agreement broadens the resources it can bring to tackling cyber-crime.

“Utilising and sharing the expertise of Trend Micro will allow us to further understand and respond to emerging and evolving cyber crime threats to the UK,” stated NCA head of intelligence and tasking Steven Heywood.

Interpol swoop

Under the agreement, the NCA will be able to draw on the expertise of Trend staff as well as its cloud-based threat data analytics platform.

Trend worked with Spanish law enforcement bodies in the arrest of Reveton ransomware gang members in 2013, and last year signed a three-year deal that will see it collaborate more closely with Interpol.

Trend said it participated in the Interpol industry collaboration that dismantled the Simda botnet in April.

The 9 April operation, organised by Interpol’s Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) in Singapore, involved the seizure of 10 command-and-control servers in the Netherlands, in addition to servers targeted in the other countries. It was carried out in cooperation with police forces in the Netherlands, the US, Russia, Luxembourg and Poland.

Interpol, which didn’t disclose the operation until late on Monday, said it worked with Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit, which provided large-scale data analytics, as well as Kaspersky Lab, Trend and Japan’s Cyber Defence Institute. These organisations helped construct a “heat map” indicating the worldwide spread of Simda infections and pinpointing its command servers, Interpol said.

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