European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) opens its doors today - with the Netherlands-based facility aiming to defend individuals and businesses from cyber attacks by pooling intelligence resources from across Europe.
The Europol headquarters will be targeting cyber crimes such as online bank fraud and malware threats and in addition, will supply the EU with a county-by-country analysis of the different types of cyber crimes that are most likely to affect its members.
"In combatting cybercrime, with its borderless nature and huge ability for the criminals to hide, we need a flexible and adequate response," stated head of the European Cybercrime Centre, Troels Oerting.
"The European Cybercrime Centre is designed to deliver this expertise 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."
By gathering extensive sources of information and expertise, it is hoped that this forward-thinking will enable the EC3 to better support criminal investigations whilst raising awareness of the seriousness of cyber crime.
A press conference announcing the opening of EC3 saw Commissioner Cecilia Malmström highlight the importance of the centre.
Malmström said: "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 added: "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."
Starting out with a team of 30 experts, it is hoped that by the end of the year the centre will have 40 full-time staff.
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