“Today's thieves quietly lurk in the shadows of cyber-space where they employ computer code to target banks, businesses and customers to make off with millions of dollars without ever cracking a safe,” Richard Boscovich, assistant general counsel of the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, wrote in a blog post this week. Boscovich's sobering and realistic assessment came in response to the optimistic announcement of Microsoft's collaboration with the global body, the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), to meet the growing threat of cybercrime head-on.
For FS-ISAC members, this partnership will ensure access to near real-time data on malware infections in circulation from more than 67 million unique IP addresses. Distributed via an automated, secure channel on Microsoft's Azure cloud (that will also clean infected machines), the swift data feed will allow malicious infections to be nipped in the bud via immediate detection and compromised machine quarantine.
The two organisations had previously worked together with the FBI to disrupt a handful of cybercrime attacks, according to Boscovich's post, such as the Citadel botnet and Caphaw botnet—both of which targeted European banks and bank customers' data.
According to Boscovich, this partnership represents just the type of “collaborative action between businesses and blanket organisations like the FS-ISAC” that is essential to realistically thwart cybercrime.