Cops get cybercrime help from Microsoft

Program will develop analytical tools to help international police forces fight phishing and other crimes.

Munir Kotadia Special to CNET News
2 min read
Microsoft is developing analytical tools to help international law enforcement agencies track and fight cybercrime.

Microsoft unveiled the tools development program at the kickoff on Wednesday of three days of technical training for Australian law enforcement agencies. The Forensic Computing and Computer Investigations Workshops are designed to help investigators fight crimes such phishing, online child exploitation and money laundering.

Greg Stone, the national technology officer at Microsoft Australia and New Zealand, said the event was part of a global effort to help agencies understand the technologies used to attack businesses, government agencies and citizens. The next step for Microsoft, according to Stone, will be to further develop internal analytical tools to make investigators' tasks easier.

"We are looking at making our internal tools available to law enforcement agencies," Stone said. "I'm not talking about commercial shrink-wrapped products that we would put out onto the market. I am talking about very specialized bits of technology, like artificial intelligence and data mining, that would be safe in the hands of extremely competent individuals".

Security experts are increasingly concerned about the growing sophistication of the technology and techniques used by organized gangs of computer hackers and other criminals.

Stone said the tools were originally used to help Microsoft programmers analyze code as their software was being developed. They are now being transformed into specialist tools to assist in the law enforcement effort.

"As these tools come into fruition, we will place the technology in the hands of law enforcement agencies so they can do the work of catching criminals better and benefit society--it is not just a Microsoft thing," Stone said.

Munir Kotadia of ZDNet Australia reported from Sydney.