Leading fight against online crime
Irish law enforcers and researchers are leading the way in fighting cybercrime gangs around the world.
The University College Dublin (UCD) Centre for Cybercrime Investigation (CCI) is the only facility in Europe to educate specialist officers to unravel complex online abuses.
The heads of cybercrime at Interpol and Europol are among the investigators who hold a masters qualification from the facility, which is now in pole position to become the EU hub for centres of excellence in IT forensics.
UCD professor Joe Carthy said mafia-type gangs are no longer getting their hands dirty but are making huge amounts of money with online "clean crime". He said gardai were at the forefront in tackling theft, money laundering, consumer fraud and child protection.
"The Irish police force is the jewel in the European crown when it comes to cybercrime. They are leading the way in Interpol and Europol and are held in the highest esteem," said Prof Carthy.
After a decade of cybercrime research, education and collaboration with agencies, the CCI was formally established in 2006 and has since delivered masters qualifications to 125 investigators from 25 countries worldwide.
It teaches specialists how to probe and recover mobile phone and computer data, examine skimming devices and track child pornography and finance fraud.
The CCI gives training and research to banks, credit card companies and financial houses on how to project themselves from organised gangs targeting the internet.
Justice Minister Dermot Ahern said centres such as UCD are at the cutting edge in tackling the growing menace of cybercrime and play a leading role in training both gardai and police from the Europol family.
He said the Government will do all it can to assist UCD in becoming the location of choice for the proposed hub which will co-ordinate research, networks and training across the EU in the area of cybercrime.