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Hallam researchers develop game to help catch cybercriminals

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Helping cryptocurrency investigators track down criminals is the aim of a new training game, co-developed by academics at Sheffield Hallam University and Europol.

The game, CRYPTOPOL, is the first of its kind that allows investigators to get hands-on experience of simulated real life online scenarios.

It has been co-created and developed by the University's Centre of Excellence in Terrorism, Resilience, Intelligence and Organised Crime Research (CENTRIC) in partnership with Europol - the European Union's law enforcement agency.

Professor Babak Akhgar, Director of CENTRIC said: "At CENTRIC we specialise in providing practical research that can be readily applied in real situations and that’s nowhere more evident than in CRYPTOPOL.

"It was a fantastic privilege to work with Europol to develop this resource that I believe will help improve the capabilities of law enforcement and cybercrime investigators - helping us to build stronger communities across the globe."

CRYPTOPOL will be available via Europol to approved law enforcement cryptocurrency investigators across the world.

The game was launched at the Europol-INTERPOL Cybercrime conference held at Europol's headquarters in The Hague in the Netherlands.

The annual event saw more than 400 experts from academia, the private sector and law enforcement gather to examine the latest cyber threats, trends and strategies.

Over the course of three days, 50 experts discussed the most pressing cyber threats of today and tomorrow.

Key themes included the benefits and challenges of Artificial Intelligence for police, the potential impacts of 5G technology, obstacles to international cooperation on cybercrime investigations and the trends and challenges presented by cryptocurrencies.

This year, speakers included the Executive Assistant Director of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch, Amy S. Hess and the General Manager of Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit, Amy Hogan-Burney, both of whom delivered keynote speeches on the threats perceived by their respective communities.

Another international speaker was Cyrus Roberts Vance Jr, the incumbent District Attorney of New York County, who spoke on the impact of encryption on criminal investigations. 

For press information: Greg Mattocks-Evans in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 3685 or email .