Europe's anti-cybercrime centre to go live this week

A new centre tasked with tackling serious and organised online online crime will open its doors on Friday, supporting member states' investigations and law enforcement agencies with information and training.

The European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) is to open its doors on Friday, tasked with tackling serious and organised online crime.

The centre, based in the Netherlands, will have 40 full-time staff by the end of the year who will work to support anti-cybercrime efforts in EU countries.

Europol's headquarters on Eisenhowerlaan in The Hague. Image: Europol

Online bank fraud, child abuse and crime against the EU's critical infrastructure and IT systems will be particular targets for the centre , which will be funded by Europe's police agency Europol and run out of its headquarters in The Hague.

"In combating cybercrime, with its borderless nature and huge ability for the criminals to hide, we need a flexible and adequate response. The European Cybercrime Centre is designed to deliver this expertise as a fusion centre, as a centre for operational investigative and forensic support, but also through its ability to mobilise all relevant resources in EU Member States to mitigate and reduce the threat from cybercriminals wherever they operate from," Troels Oerting, head of the European Cybercrime Centre, said in a statement on Wednesday.

The centre will work to alert police and law enforcement agencies in member states with information about ongoing cybercrime trends as well as details on emerging threats, including providing a "cybercrime helpdesk". 

It will also "deliver high-level technical, analytical and forensic expertise in EU joint investigations", according to the European Commission, and will build forensic tools to help EU member states detect cybercrime more efficiently, and successfully prosecute those responsible for it.

EC3 will also develop a common standard for reporting online crime to help European countries get a better view of web crime across the continent. The centre will have a role to play in training too, creating training materials for those working in law enforcement.


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