City of London Police Begins Cryptocurrency Training

The City of London Police force has established a new training program to school officers in all things cryptocurrency.

The force confirmed to reporters that its Economic Crime Academy is running the new “first of its kind” course to help train officers in how to manage digital currencies in investigations.

The hope is that the program will be taken nationwide to improve the cyber-skills of officers across the UK.

“It is designed to provide delegates with the skills and knowledge required to recognize and manage cryptocurrencies in an investigation,” a City of London police spokesperson told City AM. “On successful completion of this course, participants will understand how to detect, seize, and investigate the use of cryptocurrencies in an investigative context. It will be the first of its kind, and has been developed in response to feedback from police officers nationally who felt there wasn’t enough training in the area.”

One pilot has apparently already been completed, with a second due to run next month.

McAfee chief scientist, Raj Samani, argued that cyber gangs are increasingly targeting cryptocurrencies to reap what they see as easy profits.

“The McAfee Labs count of total coin-miner malware rose by 629% in Q1 of this year – to more than 2.9 million samples. What we’re seeing is that bad actors are demonstrating a remarkable level of technical agility and innovation,” he added.

“While the City of London Police’s initiative is a good step towards the enforcement of accountability, we must always strive to do our due diligence when it comes to security and actively seek to mitigate risks in order to make life more difficult for cyber-criminals.”

An Ernst & Young report from January claimed that 10% of all Initial Coin Offering funds are lost to hackers, with $400m stolen in the past.

It’s not just cryptocurrency theft that police need to get smarter about preventing though. Digital coins are also increasingly being used to launder funds and anonymize attacks such as those involving ransomware.

Europol boss Rob Wainwright claimed earlier this year that cyber-criminals are laundering £3bn to 4bn in Europe alone.

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