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Report: Fight against cybercrime is on the right track

Despite numerous hacking incidents and growing malware infections, the fight against cybercrime is on the right track, according to the latest quarterly report by security firm PandaLabs.

The report, which covers January through March 2013, highlights some of the major security issues that companies faced, including Twitter account hacks, Java infections and Android malware.

“The start of the year has seen some serious cyber-attacks, including the hacking of the Twitter accounts of major organizations such as the BBC or Burger King, and one of the biggest attacks ever, targeting some of the world's leading technology companies: Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter. But there have been some victories for security forces as well, including the arrest of a group of hackers accused of extortion using the infamous ‘Police Virus’,” said Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs.

Europe got a boost with the inauguration of the European Cybercrime Centre on 11 January, while the FBI, with the support of many European countries, revealed that it managed to stop a cyber-criminal gang responsible for the infection of over one million computers since 2005.

Another success story was the arrest of criminals behind the aforementioned “Police Virus,” a form of ransomware which told users of infected computers that they had visited illegal websites and must pay a fine to unlock their computer. A joint operation between the Technological Investigation Brigade of Spain's National Police, Europol and Interpol, apprehended 11 people believed to be responsible for the virus. However, as the chart above demonstrates, the malware appears to still be in use, with other gangs exploiting it for money.

International co-operation among security agencies is beginning to pay off, according to PandaLabs, as evidenced by these cases. However, it warned that there is still a long way to go in the fight against cybercrime.