Interpol cybercrime data centre in S'pore

Interpol cybercrime data centre in S'pore

Cybercrime cases from all corners of the globe will soon be analysed - and possibly cracked - in a corner of Singapore.

For global police agency Interpol is building a complex here, and this will house its first centralised cybercrime data centre.

Well on track for completion in September, the Interpol Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) along Napier Road is being built with the support of the Singapore Government.

It is meant to complement Interpol's headquarters in Lyon, France, and to enhance its presence in Asia.

The data centre "will be the nerve centre of Interpol" and is "the first of its kind for Interpol", IGCI's director of cyber innovation and outreach Madan Mohan Oberoi told reporters yesterday on the sidelines of the World Cities Summit 2014.

The complex will also be home to a digital forensics lab - where malware and other threats are analysed and new solutions developed - as well as a training facility for member nations to share and acquire new techniques to handle cybercrime such those carried out via mobile applications.

"One of the areas of digital forensics is mobile phones as companies are always coming up with new models and new functionalities, so we need to adapt the respective cybercrime fighting capabilities quickly," said Mr Quek Joo Khuan, director of regional sales, business development and public safety at NEC Asia Pacific. NEC is contributing technical and human resources to the IGCI's digital crime arm.

As of now, Interpol has 20 staff - including Dr Oberoi - in a transition support office working out of the Home Team National Service Clubhouse in Ah Hood Road. It is hoping to grow their numbers to 150 in 2016 by bringing in expertise from around the world.

The transition team have kept themselves busy: Interpol's Operation Strikeback, which involved half a dozen countries and led to the arrest of 58 people in April for alleged involvement in "sextortion" cases, was coordinated here, said Dr Oberoi.

The suspects, all Filipinos, are said to have created fake social networking accounts and lured hundreds of victims from countries such as Singapore, Australia, and the United States into stripping before their webcams.

The perpetrators would then demand money, using the nude photos or videos as blackmail.

"These are the kinds of activities (the IGCI) will be doing," said Dr Oberoi. "Besides providing investigative support, it will act as a 24/7 network for various coordination efforts and... will also provide forensic support to member countries."

This article was first published on June 3, 2014.
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