Say hello to SOCA


At long last the UK has its own answer to the FBI, namely the new SOCA - Serious Organised Crime Agency - which came into being this week after months of preparation.

SOCA has pretty much the same focus as the FBI, in that it covers any and all types of serious crime, including, of course, IT malware and other stuff that I write about in this column.

All told, there are around more than 4,000 police, customs and immigration offices that have been transferred from their respective divisions to SOCA, which has more than a dozen unmarked offices around the UK.

The Government and big cheeses at SOCA, of course, have been busy giving interviews in which they say they are concentrating on cracking down on organised crime.

Well yes they are, but SOCA will - I hope - also start looking at malware and online fraud issues, where organised crime, including the Mafia, is involved.

The Mafia has its paws in all sorts of criminal activities, including fixing footy matches. I remember sitting in a hotel bar in Warsaw in the mid-1900s when France were playing Germany in the World Cup.

A rather heavy set Russian geezer I was chatting to in the bar told me the result of the match 10 minutes before it kicked off. What amazed me, however, was the fact that hotel staff treated such corruption as perfectly normal.

Oh yes, and I had a bet on the match and won around 80 quid for my efforts - though I had to buy a large one for El mafioso-person in the bar.

But I digress. Organised crime is a major problem in the world of IT security. Let's hope SOCA has the oomph to tackle the problem...