A major new initiative is being launched in the UK to fight organised online crime.
The objective of the new Cyber Crime Reduction Partnership (CCRP), which was announced in the week by Security Minister James Brokenshire, will bring the police, security industry experts and academics together to combat the increasingly organised nature of online criminality.
In announcing the launch, Mr Brokenshire said "For too long the public's perception of cyber crime has been a lone bedroom hacker stealing money from a bank account. But the reality is that cyber criminals are organised and global, with a new breed of criminals selling 'off-the-shelf' software to aid gangs in exploiting the public."
"This government is committed to tackling this threat and we have already had great success," he added. "But we want to go further and through the creation of the National Cyber Crime Unit within the NCA (National Crime Agency) and innovations such as the new Cyber Crime Reduction Partnership, I am confident we can bring these criminals to justice.'"
The minister backed up his comments with statistics highlighting the growing online economy. Against retail sales reaching £2.6 billion last year, one third of adults in the UK was the victim of a cyber attack, according to The 2012 Crime Survey for England and Wales.
The government is planning to invest £650 mlllion in its National Cyber Security Strategy over the next four years. Ongoing projects include next month's launch of the Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership (CISP) and the proposed establishment of a UK National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT). Plans are also afoot for later this year to merge the Police eCrime Unit (PCeU) and the Serious Organised Crime Unit (SOCA) Cyber wing to create the National Cyber Crime Unit.
"Through the introduction of the National Cyber Crime Unit later this year, through greater awareness and action from the public and industry, and through continuing to work closely with our international partners, we can deliver a lasting and transformative impact on those criminals that seek to use the economy to harm the UK and its interests," concluded Mr Brokenshire.