Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) is an international team of technical, legal and business experts that has been fighting cybercrime to protect victims since 2008.
They use their expertise with online criminal networks to uncover evidence to pass onto the appropriate law enforcement agencies throughout the world. They can also disrupt the operational infrastructure used by cybercriminals, through civil legal actions and sometimes by technical means.
DCU has developed strong relationships with local and global law enforcement, security firms, researchers, NGOs and customers to drive scale and fight cybercrime. They also use the evidence they collect to help with the development of technical countermeasures to strengthen the security and safety of Microsoft’s products and services.
Areas of Focus
- Tech Support Fraud. These scams are very common as the criminals involved operate this scam on an industrial scale. DCU use data analytics and direct customer complaints to investigate criminal networks engaged in tech support fraud.
- Business Email Compromise (BEC). This is where criminals impersonate key people in an organisation e.g. the Finance Director to get an employee to transfer funds to the criminals. BEC is one of the most prolific and costly cybercrime attacks in the world today. According to a 2020 FBI report, BEC attacks were responsible for $1.8B in losses and represent more than 40% of all cybercrime losses.
- In 2020, the DCU secured court orders to block malicious web applications targeting business organizations, directed the removal of 744,980 phishing URLs resulting in the closure of 3,546 malicious email accounts used to collect stolen customer credentials obtained through successful phishing attacks.
- This is a wide area of criminal activity and DCU focus on identifying and disrupting these criminal activities.
- DCU focus on payment systems and disruption of the criminal infrastructure behind these attacks.
- Business Operations Integrity. This means supply chains and all systems infrastructure that can be attacked by criminals.
Keep up the good work DCU.
If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.