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New Information-Sharing Task Force Nets Arrest of 2 U.K. Cybergangs

An agreement by banks and credit card companies to share cybercrime intelligence has resulted in the discovery and arrest of two London-based cybercrime gangs,reports the online technology publication The Register.

The Web site says a new "virtual task force," expected to publicly launch next week, has already nabbed an Eastern European group who were trying to use trojans, which are hidden forms of malware that can steal personal information stored on a computer, to steal money. The 13-person gang faces money laundering and fraud charges. The second investigation used information from the task force to arrest nine people connected with a fraudulent music sales Web site, which the gang was using to collect banking information.

Banks and credit card companies have been reluctant to share information on network attacks and malware in the past, fearing competitors or criminals may take advantage of vulnerabilities.

Financial services companies will not share all their security secrets via the virtual task force, but its forthcoming launch marks a significant step toward cooperation, Janet Williams, the deputy assistant commissioner of the U.K. Metropolitan Police's specialist crime directorate, told The Register.