As cybercrime rapidly increases, are hacker cops the solution to fight cybercrime? The UK seems to think so, as 80 percent of its police force is taking part in the Cyber Crime Pathways Programme with Firebrand Training to improve their cybersecurity skills.
The program, launched in 2014, offers 960 accelerated courses involving hands-on simulations for time-sensitive investigations. So far, 659 police officers have gone through the training. The courses cover topics from hacktivism to cryptography and encryption.
“It’s a case of learning the practical skills that we can utilize, no different to a finding a gun at a crime scene that we can make safe from the public and attribute to the criminal,” DC Steve Mersh said for the BBC.
Traditional forensic investigators may be obsolete when it comes to cybercrime, as detectives now have to quickly tackle digital footprints and evidence, otherwise the data may be lost.
“Back in the day, the officers would simply turn up and literally just pull the electricity supply out of the back of the computer, bag it, tag it and send it away for a forensic investigation which could take months before they got back with anything meaningful” says Phil Chapman, Lead Cyber Security Instructor at Firebrand Training.
“We’re proud to provide accelerated cybersecurity training to local police forces across the UK. Cybercrime is one of the largest threats to businesses and consumers today – our police need the know-how to respond to this unique form of criminality.”