Interpol: We can’t arrest our way out of cybercrime

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As cybercriminals become more sophisticated and their attacks more destructive and costly, private security firms and law enforcement need to work together, according to Interpol’s Doug Witschi.

It’s tough to argue with either of these two statements. But considering the constant barrage of ransomware-attack headlines, as well as politicians’ calls for more public-private threat intelligence sharing, they both begin to sound a bit hollow.

Witschi, the assistant director for cybercrime threat response and operations at Interpol, told The Register about recent successes that the agency’s Gateway cyber-threat intel sharing project has had, and the increasingly well-funded, targeted attacks that law enforcement agencies are trying to prevent. 

“We’re not going to be able to arrest ourselves out of this problem,” he told The Register. “We need to work as a global community on this challenge. And Gateway is one step in that direction.”

Through the project private-sector security shops including Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks, Trend Micro, Kaspersky Lab and others share intelligence with Interpol member countries’ law enforcement agencies to help them investigate cybercrime and attribute attacks to the various crime rings.

Recently, the public-private effort participated in an operation that led to the arrest of 11 people in Nigeria, thought to be members of a prolific business email compromise (BEC) scam ring that victimized “thousands” of companies globally. 

And late last year the Interpol-led effort led to the arrest of six Clop ransomware gang members in Ukraine, following an international law enforcement operation code named “Operation

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