Interpol wants its planned new Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) in Singapore to become a hub for fighting cybercrime in the developed world and beyond, the institution’s head has told a security conference.
Speaking at Global Security Asia 2013 conference, IGCI executive director Noboru Nakatani told delegates that cybercrime could only be tackled by a coordinated response through international bodies such as Interpol.
A major issue was the lack of technical skills and facilities in some developing countries, something the new centre would help rectify.
“International cooperation is perhaps the single most important requirement for better cybersecurity. As this is a global problem, it requires global solutions based on universal values,” said Nakatani.
“There is a lag between criminals adopting new technologies and practices and law enforcement developing the technical skills required to counter them, because of bureaucracy and budget constraints on the law enforcement side,” he said.
“The technical capacity of the law enforcement community therefore needs to be further strengthened in the digital age, especially in developing countries.”
The comments make clear that the Asian siting of the centre, whose construction was recently put out to tender with a 2014 completion date, was part of an attempt to re-balance the organisation’s structure away from its European base and traditional focus on non-digital crimes.
One of the IGCI's main tasks will be to work on cybercrime, itself a change of direction for a body that has sometimes struggled to define itself as an important influence in countering digital crime.
In theory, its intelligence and facilities will be available to the 190 member police forces across the globe.
With this in mind, the IGCI also announced a partnership with Russian antivirus firm Kaspersky Lab at a recent meeting between founder Eugene Kaspersky and Noboru Nakatani held in Moscow.
"I am most pleased with the outcome of this meeting. I have been pushing for the creation of what I used to call an 'Internet-Interpol' for over a decade now, at last it has finally come to pass," Kaspersky said afterwards.
The company would send some of its staff to work with the IGCI as part of the tie-up as well as feeding forensic intelligence to Interpol, he said.
“Soon cyber criminals will have nowhere to hide [and] not able to hole up in this or that country, as they have been able to do up to now. The net is closing in on cyber criminals - both the proverbial one and the Internet,” said Kaspersky.
Although the setting up of the IGCI has received little attention beyond a few photo calls and press releases so far, it could turn out to be a significant moment for global cybercrime.
Often security vendors are the ones that have important intelligence on the origins on specific cybercrime campaigns and the individuals behind them. But feeding this information to the authorities isn’t always successful in a world where crimes happen across several borders and some police forces are poorly equipped or motivated.