INTERPOL: Lack of international laws, resources hurts cybercrime fight

INTERPOL chief sees Anonymous bust as model for future cybercrime fight teamwork

INTERPOL Noble
INTERPOL's chief today said that a lack of anti-cybercrime laws and resources to fight the scourge is damaging other countries around the globe's ability to fight cybercrimes.

With cybercrime not even officially recognized in many countries, INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald Noble cited how terrorists of the cyber age can exploit advanced technologies, such as the terrorists behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks who used encrypted communications via mobile devices to coordinate their attacks.

Related: From Anonymous to Hackerazzi: The year in security mischief-making

"Even though a real breakthrough in fighting cybercrime might be possible once a substantial number of countries have updated their legislation and when more countries devote resources for police to develop greater technical expertise, INTERPOL and the world cannot wait for such an idyllic situation," Noble said. "Until countries update their national legislations and agree to develop a legal framework to facilitate international cybercrime investigations, police will therefore need to remain creative in working with their colleagues from abroad."

Noble said INTERPOL is working with its 190 member countries for a coordinated approach in targeting cybercriminals, as highlighted by the recent INTERPOL-coordinated Operation Unmask in South America and Europe against the hacktivist group Anonymous, which has threatened to shut down the Internet on Saturday March 31 as a form of protest, Noble said.

Noble said in order to overcome legal hurdles involved with Operation Unmask, INTERPO went directly to prosecutors in the countries concerned to ensure that available evidence would be admissible in court. This plan allowed for the shared information to be included in the ongoing investigations.  To date, 31 persons have been arrested since the launch of the Operation Unmask in February, with hundreds of items of IT equipment and mobile phones seized, as well as payment cards and cash, Noble stated.

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