Europol has teamed up with the Institute of International Finance (IIF) to crackdown on financial crime, cyber hackers, money laundering and terrorist financing.
Backed by the Financial Action Task Force and a number of national regulators from EU member states, the effort is intended to identify ways in which law enforcement agencies can cooperate more effectively in the fight against financial crime.
At a meeting at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague on Thursday, the two organisations launched a new forum for EU police forces and the banking sector designed to boost information and intelligence sharing between the two sectors.
The meeting saw Europol officials brief bank bosses on the latest trends in financial crime and hacking, and the growing convergence between the two.
President and CEO of the IIF Tim Adams commented: “The global financial services industry is committed to combatting money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
“Leveraging technological innovation has helped improve the ability of financial institutions to fight bad actors, but more needs to be done.
“It is critical for the industry, regulators and law enforcement to continue to work together to improve information sharing and response mechanisms to ensure illicit activity can be minimised.
“The private sector values taking a constructive role in this process and we look forward to further collaboration with Europol, FATF (the Financial Action Task Force) and other authorities in order to find common solutions to the challenges we collectively face.”
In a statement announcing the new initiative, Europol said money laundering is a major source of income for organised crime groups, and that the rapidly growing risk posed by cyber hackers is a serious threat to the financial sector.
Subjects discussed at the meeting included recent global ransomware attacks including WannaCry and Petya, a suspected version of which was responsible for a major cyber assault earlier this week.
Nato has said it suspects the latest attack, which is thought to have affected more than 12,000 devices in more than 65 countries after it emerged on Tuesday, is the work of state-backed actors.
“Cyber criminals are not behind this…, as the method for collecting the ransom was so poorly designed that the ransom would probably not even cover the cost of the operation,” Nato’s Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence (CCD COE) said on Friday.
The Petya attack was intended as an example of the perpetrator’s ability to cause disruption, Nato said.
It is widely suspected that May’s global WannaCry outbreak was the work of hackers connected to North Korea’s shadowy Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB) spy agency.
Both the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) have blamed Pyongyang for WannaCry, as have online security firms Symantec and Kaspersky Lab.