Microsoft continues the struggle against hackers with new Cybercrime Center

Microsoft has announced a new strategy to combat criminal hackers by opening up a new Cybercrime Center. This building will house security engineers, digital forensic experts and trained lawyers. The company is attempting to play catch up with hackers who have innovated alongside technology to remain one step ahead of law enforcement. 

Microsoft will be utilising tactics that have worked best in the past, including massive data gathering and analysis, gumshoe detective work, high-level diplomacy and creative lawyering. While many will quickly argue that Microsoft has at times had serious security vulnerabilities in its own software, the company has led the fight against organised online crime. Let's also not ignore the company's bounty programs.

Boba Fett

It's all top-security stuff. There's a lab dedicated to dissecting malicious software samples, which is only accessible with fingerprint authorisation. Microsoft also houses rows of empty offices ready to cater to authorities, customers or allies who join and participate on specific missions. 

Steve Santorelli, a former Microsoft investigator and Scotland Yard cybercrime detective, states "at least half of the major, significant takedowns have been driven by Microsoft." External security experts have praised Microsoft for bringing together multiple specialist sectors under one roof. At the Microsoft Cybercrime Center, you'll also find a team working on securing its own products - both internal and external developments under one roof.

Around 80 of the crime unit's 100 members of staff are working on the piracy of Microsoft products, with fewer devoted solely to deconstructing the methods of criminals attacking customers and halting them when possible. An example mission would be undercover Microsoft employees purchasing computers in China, to then find out each machine had pirated versions of the Windows OS and traces of malicious software.

Microsoft's findings are taken through legal channels that may then result in armed raids on locations where servers are housed. But what about peer-to-peer botnets? Microsoft is now working on new means to take down the more sophisticated networks. It's an interesting look at the often bashed software giant to see just how Microsoft is working on not only protecting its own assets, but also society.

Source: Reuters

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

30 Comments
  • First in line....great to see MS continue the fight. Good times...
  • With Joe Belforie on the job, there is now nothing to fear.
  • Joe leaves the building via the Batmobile flanked by an army of Lady Gaga robots.
  • Tom Clancy's Net Force
  • THIS!!! RIP Tom Clancy...
  • Law and Order CU "In the criminal justice system, internet and electronic media offenses are considered especially heinous. In Redmond, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Cybercrime Unit.These are their stories" *DUNK! DUNK!*
  • Cancelled after two episodes...the guest appearance by a sweaty Steve Ballmer scared everyone away.
  • Microsoft has confirmed the new CEO You can see his Genius face here http://ow.ly/qPsLd
  • dont  go to that link!
  • Can't see on phone :/
  • you get a +810 for that !!!! funny :D
  • ^likey this^
  • Personally, when hackers attack governments or corporations with an agenda, such as exposing the NSA or some kind od questionable practices, I don't really have a problem with that. Yeah, its a crime, and I'd punish the offenders, but I often sympathize...just the anarchist in me. But these bastards that just hack to screw up the net for the rest of us with denial of service bs, they really piss me off, so have at them, MS, spank their bratty little butts!
  • Great, now msft can give even more of our data to the government. Gearing up for XB1 surveillance I'm sure.
  • This makes so little sense I can't even come up with an offensive reply. The length some people go to bash Microsoft is astounding. Next thing we know the B&M gates foundation will be stealing our children. 
  • So what did I say that was wrong or misleading? Im no Microsoft basher; I own their products in almost every category. But to deny the fact that they work in tandem with the us government on domestic surveillance is disingenuous. I can like their products but still be concerned about their NSA cooperation. Geez this site is full of fanboyz these days. You all do the ecosystem a disservice when you don't call them on their shit. Tell them what they do right AND what they do wrong; that's the only way for them to grow to be a better company.
  • * sigh* i guess people will find anything to bash msft >.>
  • This is Microsoft fighting Cybercrime not "CyberSpying".
  • Yes those lines never get blurred /s
  • Damn hackers
  • That would be a job, I'd like to do... Fight hackers
  • Already h4X0r3D!
  • Good news. Very good news.
  • Nice PR spin.  The Reuters article is a little more balanced.  80% of the employees here focused on anti-piracy?  Sounds much more about fighting crimes against Microsoft than crimes against Microsoft's customers.  But which allocation of resources is truly better for Microsoft's bottom line in the long term?  The one they've stated here seems rather short-sighted to me.
  • That makes zero sense... What "crimes against Microsoft" are there that could possibly warrant 80% of employees to investigate. It is much more logical that they are targeting attacks on windows PC's (which are the vast majority of computers out there) and in the process discover vulnerabilities in windows, internet explorer, etc. Its a win win situation.
  • Try actually reading the article.  Hint - this is the critical sentence: "Around 80 of the crime unit's 100 members of staff are working on the piracy of Microsoft products, with fewer devoted solely to deconstructing the methods of criminals attacking customers and halting them when possible."
  • Surely if Mr. Elop takes command, this will be considered a financial haemorrhage and get scrapped.
  • Uh yea, it's not a new strategy, Microsoft already has a CyberCrime center in New Jersey.
  •    It would be really cool if WPCentral could get a video tour of the center.
  • That would be great.