Europol and F-Secure sign MoU to share cyber-crime info

Europol has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Finnish online security company F-Secure. The agreement aims to improve information sharing for fighting crime.

Europol HQ in The Hague, Netherlands
Europol HQ in The Hague, Netherlands

Europol's Cybercrime Centre (EC3) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with online security company F-Secure Corporation at Europol's headquarters in The Hague.

This MoU will allow for enhanced cooperation in the joint fight against the growing problem of cyber-crime.

Speaking to SCMagazineUK.com, Europol spokesperson Alexandru Niculae said, “In accordance with Europol's legal framework, MoUs allow for the exchange of strategic information such expertise, statistics, trends and information on threats between the two parties concerned. MoUs do not allow for the exchange of personal data.”

Speaking at SC Congress Amsterdam last month, Steve Wilson, director of EC3 said, “The challenges really haven't changed – the rogue nation states, terrorists, activists and script kiddies are all still there. However, thanks to the Europol's EC3, a group of member states named JCAT, have solved four major cases this year alone, and in 2015 they cracked nine.”

Wilson explained, “This level of cooperation coming from working together as one big 'cyber jigsaw' has allowed for these crimes to be solved and perpetrators brought to justice.”

Combating today's digital security challenges requires a collective approach in which law enforcement and private industry are compelled to work more closely together. In this complex environment, such partnerships are becoming increasingly important.

When asked to provide other examples of internet security vendors with whom Europol has has an MoU, Nicuale named Kaspersky Lab, McAfee (now Intel Security), Mnemonic - all signed in 2014 - and Group-IB and FireEye which were signed in 2015.

It is important to note, however, that not all cyber-security organisations fall into the category of a vendor. They may also be public bodies or organisations such as the Shadowserver Foundation, with whom Europol also concluded an MoU in 2015.

Niculae explained that Europol is continually looking to “selectively” expand its partnership base and sign further MoUs with external entities with whom collaboration can lead to more effective working.

Commenting on the news of signing the MoU, Steven Wilson, head of Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), said, "The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding between Europol and F-Secure will improve our capabilities and further increase our effectiveness in assisting EU law enforcement in preventing, prosecuting and disrupting cyber-crime."

Wilson went on to explain that, “Working co-operation of this type between law enforcement and industry is the most effective way in which we can hope to secure cyberspace for European citizens and businesses. I am confident that the high level of technical expertise that F-Secure bring will result in a significant benefit to our Europe-wide investigations. I am grateful for their cooperation and look forward to developing an excellent working relationship."

Kimmo Kasslin, head of F-Secure Laboratories, said: "Our mission is to protect people and business from cyber threats, and cooperation with law enforcement is an important part of that mission. We are glad to be able to provide threat intelligence to Europol to aid in their investigation and enforcement efforts to make the online world a safer place for everyone."