Commissioner Cecilia Malmström announces opening of new online crime fighting agency.
The European Commission has confirmed that the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) is to open on Friday 11 January to help protect member states from cyber threats.
At a press conference, announcing EC3’s opening, Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said the centre will allow the EU to fight cybercrime on multiple fronts.
“Cyber criminals are quick in using new technologies to commit their crimes. They are infiltrating computers, bank accounts, financial transactions...they steal bank credentials and identities [and can] also hack smartphones and social network profiles,” she said.
EC3 will show cyber criminals we are there to stop them.
“Very few [cyber crimes] are reported and very few are solved...so that’s why we need to work together in the EU...and the EC3 will be a tool developed to show cyber criminals that we are there to stop them,” Malmström added.
As well as online fraud, EC3 will also participate in investigations into child abuse, new malware threats, and attempt to provide the EU with a country-by-country view of the types of cyber crimes that blight its members.
“The EC3 will develop tools and techniques for forensic examination...[because] one single piece of information is often all that is needed to tackle criminals online,” she said.
It will also offer on-the-spot forensic support and work with prosecutors to bring cyber criminals to justice, she added.
The Centre will be based at the Hague, and its activities overseen by Troels Oerting, head of European Cybercrime centre for EC3.
The site will boast a 30-strong team to begin with. However, Malmström said this number will increase to 40 by the end of the year.
“Member states will be encouraged to seconder their experts [to work at] the centre," she said.
"EC3 will help to safeguard a free and open internet for the legitimate economy,” she added.