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Europe to get cybercrime alert system

To be built by Europol, the system will pool reports of crimes such as ID or financial theft online, and spot and track illegal activity, from across the 27 EU member states.

Europe is getting a cybercrime alert system as part of a European Union drive to fight online criminals.

According to plans, European law enforcement body Europol will receive 300,000 euros ($386,430) to build an alert system that pools reports of cybercrime, such as online identification and financial theft, from across the 27 member states.

Police will launch more remote searches of suspects' hard drives over the Internet, as well as cyberpatrols to spot and track illegal activity, under the strategy adopted by the European Union's council of ministers Thursday.

The strategy, a blueprint for fighting cybercrime in the EU over the next five years, also introduces measures to encourage businesses and police to share information on investigations and cybercrime trends.

"The strategy encourages the much-needed operational cooperation and information exchange between the member states," said Jacques Barrot, vice president of the European Commission. "If the strategy is to make the fight against cybercrime more efficient, all stakeholders have to be fully committed to its implementation. We are ready to support them, also financially, in their efforts."

Plans for the EU alert system follow the recent establishments of the Police Central E-crime Unit and National Fraud Strategic Authority, which aim to fight cybercrime in the United Kingdom.

Nick Heath of Silicon.com reported from London.