The RCMP says Interpol is teaching the world new ways to outsmart hackers. And Canadian law enforcement is paying close attention.
Interpol announced the arrest of 25 alleged members of the Anonymous hacker collective in four different countries on Tuesday. According to the UK’s Guardian news site, Interpol’s site was offline for several hours, possibly due to a retaliatory strike by hackers.
In an interview with ComputerWorld Canada Tuesday, just as Interpol was announcing news of the arrests, David Black, manager of the RCMP technology crime branch’s cyber crime fusion team, had spoken of “a distinct new effort to collaborate internationally” on cyber crime, with Interpol being a “key resource” for the RCMP in these sorts of crackdowns.
He spoke approvingly of the planned Interpol Global Complex for Innovation, an international law enforcement facility to be built in Singapore by 2014. “It has a new mandate, and a very useful one that we’re looking into as the way ahead.”
Interpol has lauded the new centre as an example of “the future of policing,” giving police officers around the world the ability to share real time intelligence on cyber crime threats and analyze global trends in cyber attacks. The Singapore centre will also have its own command and co-ordination centre, complementing two existing ones in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Lyon, France.
“We see it as a viable way ahead for collaboration,” says Black. “This isn’t a Canadian-only fight.”
Besides Interpol, he adds, “there are a number of entities we work with, foremost in the G8 working group on high-tech crime.”
Interpol said in a news release
that arrests linked to Anonymous were made across 15 cities in Argentina, Chile, Columbia and Spain. Authorities searched 40 premises and seized 250 items, including computer equipment and mobile phones. An investigation continues into how the alleged hackers’ activities were funded, Interpol said.
A prominent Twitter account linked to Anonymous, AnonOps, hinted that the group had been attacking Interpol’s Web site in retaliation on Wednesday. One tweet read, “Tango Down II 404 Interpol.”
Anonymous often conducts distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against Web sites, which involves bombarding a site with so many traffic requests it becomes unavailable.The arrests mark one of the biggest roundups so far of people allegedly affiliated with Anonymous, a decentralized group that undertakes hacking campaigns to protest policies and organizations it opposes.
(With files from Jeremy Kirk, IDG News Service – Sydney Bureau)
Brian Bloom is a staff writer at ComputerWorld Canada. You can find him on Google+. He covers enterprise hardware and software, information architecture and security topics.