REDMOND, Wash. -- Every year, about 400 million people are victims of cybercrime. It costs consumers an estimated $113 billion annually.
That’s why Microsoft has decided to take all the experts they have in fighting cybercrime, and give them one state-of-the-art center in Redmond to call home.
As the head of Microsoft`s Digital Crimes Unit, David Finn spends a lot of time trying to figure out how his company`s software and services can be corrupted.
“The Internet is a great force for good,” he said Thursday. “Unfortunately, there are organized criminal groups who want to endanger that experience. They want to defraud some of the most vulnerable people of society.”
They use malware to infect computers, steal users’ identities, and sometimes exploit children.
Microsoft has been trying to stay one step ahead of those criminals for the past 10 years. But their investigators, engineers and technology experts were spread out across the globe. Now they have a central center in Redmond.
“Right here, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we have a team of incredibly talented passionate people fighting cybercrime," Finn said. "They’re using big data and business intelligence and cutting-edge technology and tools to cut those criminal organizations off at the knees.”
That technology this summer helped them take down Citadel, a malicious network targeting financial institutions. Using new mapping software, they discovered a high number of infected computers in Western Europe but virtually none in the Ukraine. They figured out that`s where the criminal organization was based.
Microsoft is confident they`ll have more success stories like that in the new center. But they know they can`t do it alone. That`s why they`ve set aside space for law enforcement and other partners to work with them.
“I think the work we`re doing here is going to push us forward towards a cleaner, safer Internet,” Finn said.