European Cybercrime Centre

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European Cybercrime Centre
Coat of arms of the European Cybercrime Centre.svg
Formation11 January 2013 (commenced)
Purposelaw enforcement
CoordinatesNL 52°05′34″N 4°16′46″E / 52.0928085°N 4.279317°E / 52.0928085; 4.279317Coordinates: NL 52°05′34″N 4°16′46″E / 52.0928085°N 4.279317°E / 52.0928085; 4.279317
Steven Wilson[1]
Parent organisation

The European Cybercrime Centre (EC3 or EC³) is the body of the Police Office (Europol) of the European Union (EU), headquartered in The Hague, that coordinates cross-border law enforcement activities against computer crime and acts as a centre of technical expertise on the matter.[2][3]


When officially launched on 11 January 2013, the European Cybercrime Centre was not expected to be fully operational until 2015.[4] It began with a staff of 30, with plans to expand to 40 by the end of 2013.[5] It began operations with a budget of about 3.6 million euros.[6]

Organisational structure and key personnel[edit]

The head of EC3 reports directly to the head of Europol.[7] The first person to head the department was the former head of Danish domestic intelligence, Troels Oerting [de],[2][7] who left Interpol in January 2015 to become Barclays' Chief Intelligence Security Officer.[8].

Responsibilities and cooperation with other bodies[edit]

EC3 was tasked with assisting member states in their efforts to dismantle and disrupt cybercrime networks and developing tools and providing training.[9]

EC3 works with the European Union Intelligence and Situation Centre (INTCEN), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDCP), the World Customs Organization (WCO), the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (EBCG, also known as Frontex), and the European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF).[7] Press releases in 2015 also revealed that EC3 works with American security services, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).[10]

There is some overlap with the responsibilities of the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA).[7]

At a press conference on 10 February 2014, asked about massive identity theft uncovered by the German Federal Office for Information Security, the then head of the EC3, Troels Oerting, said that his unit was not responsible for combatting "politically motivated hacking and/or espionage against EU institutions".[11]


In February 2014, Troels Oerting reported successes that the unit had had in 2013.[11] These included catching internet extortioners, with 13 arrests.[11] They had also been involved in fighting malware attacks on banks using botnets and – in cooperation with Microsoft and experts from the German Federal Criminal Police Office – taking down the ZeroAccess botnet.[11] In 2014, details were revealed of Operation Onymous, which took down a number of Darknet sites, including Pandora , Cloud 9, Hydra, Blue Sky, Topix, Flugsvamp, Cannabis Road, Black Market and Silk Road 2.0.[12]

In 2015, American media reported on a coordinated FBI operation with the assistance of EC3 to take down Dark0de, the largest English -language communication and trading platform for cybercriminals.[10]

Participating states[edit]

As well as the EU member states, there is cooperation with a number of other states, including Australia, Canada, the Republic of Macedonia, Norway, Switzerland, Monaco, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Moldova, Russia, Turkey, the Republic of Serbia, Montenegro, Ukraine and the United States.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "New Head of Europol's European Cybercrime Centre" (Press release). Brussels: Europol. 18 January 2016. Retrieved 2017-09-21.
  2. ^ a b "European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) opens on 11 January" (Press release). European Commission. 2013-01-09. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  3. ^ "EC³, a European response to cybercrime [speech by Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs]" (Press release). European Commission. 2013-01-11. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  4. ^ "EU cybercrime centre launched by Commissioner Malmström". BBC. 9 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
  5. ^ "EU-Zentrum gegen Cybercrime wird eröffnet" [EU Cybercrime Centre Opens] (in German). Futurezone. 9 January 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  6. ^ "EU will Cybercrime mit eigenem Zentrum bekämpfen" [EU gets its own centre to fight cybercrime] (in German). Heise. 28 March 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d e Weiße, Günther K. (5 January 2013). "Bekämpfung der Cyber-Kriminalität durch EUROPOL - Folgen für die deutsche Wirtschaft" [EUROPOL's fight against cybercrime - Consequences for the German Economy] (in German). Boorberg. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  8. ^ "Exclusive: Barclays builds out security team with second Europol hire". SC Media. 27 April 2015. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  9. ^ Ashford, Warwick (11 January 2013). "European Cybercrime Centre opens in The Hague". Computer Weekly. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
  10. ^ a b Bull, Kylie (21 July 2015). "FBI Leads Darkode Takedown". Homeland Security Today.US (Press release). Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  11. ^ a b c d Ermert, Monika (10 February 2014). "Chef der EU-Cybercops zieht Erfolgsbilanz" [Head of EU Cybercops zieht Erfolgsbilanz] (in German). Heise. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  12. ^ Beuth, Patrick. "Behörden schließen Drogen-Plattformen im Dark Web" [Authorities close Darknet drug platforms] (in German). Retrieved 21 September 2017.

External links[edit]