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Expert calls for Pan-European cybercrime response

Europe needs a unified response to tackle cybercrime, according to computer security expert Ross Anderson.Professor Anderson, who heads security engineering research at the University of Cambridge, told a House of Lords committee on Wednesday that at present individual European police forces do not have an economic incentive to devote resources to low-level high-volume cybercrime.
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor on

Europe needs a unified response to tackle cybercrime, according to computer security expert Ross Anderson.

Professor Anderson, who heads security engineering research at the University of Cambridge, told a House of Lords committee on Wednesday that at present individual European police forces do not have an economic incentive to devote resources to low-level high-volume cybercrime.

"Say a criminal in Moscow sends out a million phish. One percent hit networks in the jurisdiction of the Met, and 25 percent hit the US," said Anderson. "It's much easier for the Met to let the FBI do the heavy lifting."

Anderson said that a unified European response from multiple stakeholders would make the economics of tackling cybercrime more attractive to those stakeholders, as the aggregate total police forces and interested parties would be responsible for dealing with a greater total percentage of cybercrime than if they were trying to deal with it individually.

Anderson was giving evidence to the Lords home affairs select committee, which is looking into how Europe can protect itself against large-scale cyber attacks.

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