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Issue:- Monday, 25 April 2016

Headlines and reports on this page = 4 news items.    Page - 5.

Southport men are bailed on suspicion of cyber crime

TITAN, the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (NWROCU), have confirmed that 2 males aged 21 years have been arrested at separate addresses in Southport, Merseyside, on Thursday, 21 April 2016. The rades toook place at around 7.30pm. The rades were led by Titan and supported by representatives of the international law enforcement community including:- the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and its Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT). Also an internet content and cloud computing security company provided technical support.

We are told that this criminal investigation is focused on the alleged supplying of software used by computer hackers, which is an offence in the UK under the Computer Misuse Act (1990) and Police and Justice Act (2006).

We understand that both males were kept inside the properties while specialist Titan Officers forensically examined various electronic devices using a mobile cyber forensic lab provided by Europol. During a thorough forensic examination of the properties and of various computer equipment found inside the houses.

We are also told that specialist investigators from Titan have seized funds in the form of the electronic currency known as 'Bit Coins.'

We are told that 1 of the men was arrested at a house in Moreland Drive, Southport, Merseyside and the other man was arrested at a property in Old Park Lane, also in Southport, Merseyside.

Detective Superintendent Jason Hudson, head of operations at Titan, said:- "These arrests are a significant step forward in our relentless fight against cyber crime which is a type of criminality that really does affect us all. Not everyone will understand yet what cyber crime is or how it impacts on normal people, but it is an increasing threat to anyone who uses the Internet and organised crime groups often sit behind it. Cyber criminals who hack into your computer or that of your business or your bank account or your social network can do so from anywhere in the world. So it is vital that law enforcement agencies in different countries work together by sharing intelligence about potential offenders and pool resources and expertise to tackle this common goal. That is why Titan is grateful for the assistance of the NCA here in the UK, the FBI in the United States, Europol and specialist companies from the private sector in supporting this investigation. It demonstrates just how well we work together to combat a global threat. There is still much for the Police to do in terms of raising awareness of cyber crime amongst the general public and educate people on what basic steps they can take to protect themselves, their families and their personal or financial information online. The most crucial ones are ensuring you have the best and latest anti virus software on your computer and that you always update your computer's software when it prompts you to. These are your 1st lines of defence and can prevent you from falling victim to cyber crime."

We are told by Merseyside Police that both males have been interviewed and released on Police Bail, pending further enquiries.

For more information about the work of Titan visit:- TitanROCU.Org.UK.

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