Microsoft’s cybercrime fighting unit has just opened its third Asian satellite office in Singapore. Singapore marks the fifth Microsoft Cybercrime Satellite Center (CSC). There are also CSCs in Washington, D.C., Berlin, Tokyo, and Beijing. Microsoft’s mission is to keep tabs on the growing malware problem in Southeast Asia. These CSCs were established to attack cybercrimes that affect Microsoft’s software, like malware and botnets that run on Microsoft Windows operating systems, such as Windows 8.1.
These CSCs report any data they come across to the main Cybercrime Center in Redmond, Washington; where Microsoft is headquartered. Microsoft’s own cybercrime experts such as analysts, software engineers and lawyers, analyze the information they receive to see what steps they will need to take next to quell the threat. Microsoft chose Singapore based on its proximity to other countries like India, Australia, and New Zealand. Microsoft’s assistant general counsel of the digital crimes unit, Richard Boscovich, or “Bosco,” as he likes to be called, explains Microsoft’s Singapore CSC:
“One of the reasons we’re opening a center, particularly here is, obviously, Singapore is one of the major financial centers in the world. A lot of money comes through Singapore, it’s a relatively wealthy nation and criminals follow the money. They’re in the business of stealing.”
Bosco is more focused on the immediate threat of malware in Singapore: the financial sector. As Singapore continues to rise as a new financial hub, it will be more prone to financial attacks aimed at criminals looking to steal money from banks electronically. As Bosco puts it:
“When we did our disruptive actions back in 2008, 2009, we started seeing a trend in how [criminals] operate. Some of the more ‘talented’ malware coders decided to make their pieces of malware more proprietary. We believe in the emerging markets in Singapore in particular, giving its financial hub status in the Asia Pacific region, is going to ripe for that type of geographically targeted, very specific malware, aimed at financial institutions and consumers.”
Hopefully with this new Singapore CSC, Microsoft can continue to fight against the emerging malware and botnets running on Windows operating systems that threaten Singapore’s growing financial sector. Only time will tell if Microsoft can stop the threat of malware to keep companies running Microsoft Windows and other Microsoft software safe from cyber attacks.