Software giant Microsoft has revealed that it is working in partnership with the international police organization Interpol in a worldwide crack-down on online fraudsters.
At a debate hosted by the European Internet Services Providers Association, and with the support of Interpol, Microsoft unveiled a global law enforcement campaign that will target cybercriminals behind phishing attacks.
Microsoft said it aims to have initiated legal action in over 100 cases against individuals suspected of committing online fraud by end of June 2006. The legal action will be linked to a larger Microsoft program, the Global Phishing Enforcement Initiative (GPEI), launched by the company to coordinate and expand its many anti-phishing efforts worldwide.
Neil Holloway, president of Microsoft Europe, Middle East and Africa, said, Phishing is a crime. It undermines consumers’ trust in the internet and is an impediment to European policy-makers’ and industries’ efforts to boost citizens’ use of innovative and valuable internet services.
Commenting on the partnership with Microsoft, Bernhard Otupal, crime intelligence officer at Interpol, said, Partnership between Interpol and Microsoft has been of immense benefit to police in Interpol’s member countries especially in relation to the training of officers in the latest technological advances.
He continued, Increasing such knowledge, for example in the development of different servers and networks based on Microsoft products, can be crucial to the investigation and forensic work of police agencies around the world.
The first 53 legal actions to be brought under the GPEI include legal actions against alleged phishers in Turkey, France, Spain and the UK. They will be followed by at least 51 more cases throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa against people who have allegedly created phony web sites to lure people into sharing their personal data, such as email and passwords, credit card numbers, or bank account information.