Today the five-day cybercrime exercise finished. 50 prosecutors, cybercrime investigators, financial investigation/intelligence and cyber security specialists from 12 countries from Eastern Europe, South-eastern Europe and Turkey had to work together to solve a series of technical challenges related to ransomware, hacking and investigation of money laundering and search and seizure of cybercrime proceeds.
Aleksandr SUSHKO, cybercrime investigator from Belarus says: “Cybercrime is a key challenge to digital economies and societies. Data has become a key commodity for criminals: increasing internet connectivity by citizens, businesses and the public sector, along with the exponentially growing number of connected devices as part of the Internet of Things will create new opportunities for criminals. This exercise shows that global cooperation by law enforcement authorities and private sector against cybercriminals can be successful […] It is also evident that it is possible to confront cybercriminals only on condition that the stolen funds are tracked and measures taken to remove them from criminals.”
Omer Artun AKTIMUR, financial investigator from MASAK, Turkey continues “the exercise also showed the important role that Financial Intelligence Units (FIU) have to play in cybercrime investigations by following the money trail. Firstly, the case started from a Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) that the FIU received and as a team we could not have solved the case without it and the financial information gathered. Secondly, in the course of the investigation the FIU team received very important information from an international money remittance provider. This also showed the importance of public/private cooperation. Thirdly, the FIU team obtained important information from foreign FIUs by using the EGMONT Group channel, which highlights the importance of international cooperation. The FIU team analysed the information related to the STR, information from the private sector and foreign FIUs and disseminated it in due time to the relevant authorities, which was crucial for the main investigation.”
“The exercise proved to be an invaluable experience of building relationships in a multi-agency team and also creating a cyber team from different countries, which is capable to resist cybercriminals in real life” concludes Aleksandr.
The exercise helped all of the relevant authorities – prosecutors, cybercrime investigators, financial investigators, FIUs, CERTs to realise the importance of cooperation and sharing of information among each other and identify effective and sometimes expedient solutions that are crucial in cybercrime investigations and the search and seizure of crime proceeds.
The exercise was organised by the Cybercrime Programme Office of the Council of Europe, through the two joint projects of European Union and the Council of Europe – Cybercrime@EAP III and iPROCEEDS – in close cooperation with Data Exchange Agency of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia, in Tbilisi, Georgia from 24 to 28 of April 2017.